10 July 2012

Christmas in July

Sandra and I just returned from ten days in Great Britain. This has been – and will continue to be – a full and exciting time for that great island nation. In April, Prince William, who will one day be King, was married. In June, the nation celebrated 60 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Now, in just a few days, the Olympics will begin in London and environs. We’re glad to be out of the country before the Olympic madness begins, but sorry to have missed the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen.

As we spoke with several people about the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the topic of her Christmas Address (2011) was raised. It was referred to by these Christians at the Homeschool Camping Conference as a wonderful, Gospel-oriented speech. So, I had to look it up. Below you will find an excerpt from that speech. I quite agree with my friends in England. This is a wonderful expression of the Gospel.
Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: 'Fear not', they urged, 'we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 'For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.' 
Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves - from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person - neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God's love. In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there's a prayer: O Holy Child of Bethlehem, Descend to us we pray.Cast out our sinAnd enter in.Be born in us today. It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord. 
 "A Saviour, with the power to forgive." That's Jesus. Enjoy this Christmas message - and share it with your friends.

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