Jesus said “I am the Light of the World”
The prayer room from the old Ripley Methodist Church
Every now and then you meet someone special who touches your life in a seemingly small way, and when they pass on you realise what a big gap they’ve left. One of the joys of Ministry is meeting such people; Horace, one of my church members, was such a person; cheerful, ready to banter at all times, but always with a quiet wisdom and a sincere heart.
In the New Testament followers of Jesus are thought of as saints and citizens of Heaven; so often this world thinks that we have to wait until Heaven to be considered a saint whereas Scripture simply sees any follower of Jesus as such. Horace was a faithful and devoted man and I consider it a huge privilege to have had my life touched by one of Gods saints, here on earth.
My prayer, today, is that I can have a similar impact on someone else by my life.
Do you ever get that feeling of being `in` something but not necessarily `part of` it ? This week I’ve been reflecting on this as someone who has been partially deaf since birth. When at school I had many friends but somehow didn’t always feel as though I was particularly close to anyone; on reflection this was probably because I missed out on so much due to poor hearing and it has ultimately created a shyness in many situations (I know you find that hard to imagine, but its true !). That feeling of being `in` but not `of` has persisted with me all my life and has led to puzzlement on my part as to why people seem to like me, or why people want to talk to me. I am genuinely puzzled by this but appreciate that perhaps its one of Gods miracles.
I wonder if the wise men or the shepherds felt like that when they visited the manger to worship the new born King ? They were certainly `in` the event but possibly didn`t feel part of it due to not fully understanding what was happening. Instead they simply went along with it knowing something special was happening. Today I find its the same with many people; they don`t understand Christmas, or baptism, or confirmation but they know that these are special moments or occasions and so they want to be included in the festivities.
I wonder if Mary or Joseph felt the same way. I suspect that it was probably true of Joseph. After all he was not the father but expected to be dutiful; he wasn’t allowed any say in the matter but went along with it despite the potential for shame; he remained in the shadows and has done throughout history, but was incredibly faithful.
What both these thoughts say to me is that Christmas as with many areas of the Christian faith isn’t about knowing all the answers, nor is it about getting everything right or signing the right hymns. Its about accepting the mystery of God simply trusting and going `with it. So this Christmas I invite everyone to journey with us as Christians into the mystery of God, to enjoy his presence, rejoice in the adventure and to trust him for the future.