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Christmas Thoughts

Author
Category Articles
Date December 23, 2013

First a confession: Christmas is not my favourite time of year. This is partly due to temperament; I don’t particularly enjoy the ‘jollity’ of the season (my children will testify that there is something of the ‘bah humbug’ in their father at this time of year). However, Christmas does present us with a focused opportunity to reflect on the surpassing wonder of the incarnation of God the Son in the womb of the virgin Mary.

Consider this,

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
hail the incarnate deity’

Lo within a manger lies
he who built the starry skies

Thou who was rich beyond all splendour,
all for love’s sake becamest poor.

These familiar words faithfully reflect the unembarrassed supernaturalism of Christ’s advent. They remind us that Christianity stands in frontal opposition to the arid materialism and secularism of this age and every age. In the unfathomable incarnation of his Son, God has perforated time and space with grace and glory. In the person of the eternal Son our frail humanity was joined to his unabridged deity so that he might do for us what we could never do for ourselves, live a sinless life and die a sin-bearing, sin-atoning death.

Let us all pray that the jollity of the season will not blind us to the glory of the incarnation. Like Mary, let us ‘ponder’ these things in our hearts (Luke 2:19).

CHRISTMAS PRESENTS

Good Books – A man and woman’s (nearly) Best Friend! Wondering what to buy someone you love for Christmas? Wonder no more. Buy them a book. Here are a few suggestions:

Let’s Study Ephesians1 by Sinclair B. Ferguson (Banner of Truth). A very readable, engaging commentary on the Apostle Paul’s wonderful exposition of the gospel. Cheap and edifying!

Catechizing our Children: The Whys and Hows of Teaching the Shorter Catechism Today2 by Terry L Johnson (Banner of Truth). Great help for parents from Dr Johnson (the alive one, minister of Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah).

The Confessions by Saint Augustine (Oxford World Classics edition). This 300-page prose prayer is a masterpiece of spiritual autobiography. It is a compelling, if not always easy, read. For the serious reader. Wonderful.

Isaiah by the Day by Alec Motyer (Christian Focus). This is an outstanding, enriching tour through Isaiah. Dr Motyer writes with warmth and deep insight. Indeed, anything by Motyer is worth having and reading – he is that good!

Notes

    • Let's Study Ephesians
      price £7.25

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      First a confession: Christmas is not my favourite time of year. This is partly due to temperament; I don’t particularly enjoy the ‘jollity’ of the season (my children will testify that there is something of the ‘bah humbug’ in their father at this time of year). However, Christmas does present us with a focused opportunity […]


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      Description

      First a confession: Christmas is not my favourite time of year. This is partly due to temperament; I don’t particularly enjoy the ‘jollity’ of the season (my children will testify that there is something of the ‘bah humbug’ in their father at this time of year). However, Christmas does present us with a focused opportunity […]

Ian Hamilton is Pastor of the Cambridge Presbyterian Church, now worshipping God on Sunday mornings in All Saints’ Church, Jesus Lane, Cambridge and in the Lutheran Church, Huntingdon Road, on Sunday evenings.www.cambridgepres.org.uk

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