Fresh Hope – 21st December 2020

Grandad was feeling his age. He found that shopping for Christmas gifts had become too difficult, so he decided to write a cheque to each of his family and friends instead.
In each card he wrote, ‘Buy your own present’ and posted them out nice and early. He enjoyed the usual flurry of activity leading up to the big day, but noticed he had received very few cards from his nearest and dearest. 

Puzzled and feeling somewhat upset over this, he went into his study, intending to call a couple of his relatives and ask if all was okay. It was then, as he sat at his cluttered desk, that he got his answer. He was horrified to find under a stack of papers, the signed cheques, which he had forgotten to enclose with the cards.
The empty Christmas cards that he had sent out to all his loved ones now simply read…’BUY YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS PRESENT’.  

Hopefully, this Christmas amidst all of the lock downs, tiers, confusion and restrictions, will go somewhat better than that. Just in case you need a little help, here is my Christmas recipe for a blessed day ahead:

-Focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t. 

-Make the day all about others. 

-This year is different, so think ahead about how you can be creative in communicating your love to family and friends. 

-Be thankful, for even the small blessings in life. 

-Put yourself out for someone less fortunate than you. Drop a gift/meal/cake on their doorstep. 

-Be bold enough to say a few heartfelt words, along with a prayer of thanksgiving around Christmas lunch table, no matter who is and who isn’t present. 

-Do something this week on the spur of the moment—call up a person you know that is on their own and ask if they need anything. 

-Plan to make some memories. You may never have another Christmas like this one in your life time. 

-Go over the top with love. Jesus did. Forgive and overlook your differences.

-If you still have them, serve your grandparents and somehow make it their best Christmas yet…even if it is from a distance. 

-Stay awake as long as you can and be grateful that you’re alive on another Christmas Day. 

-If you are battling with sadness, grief or loss, remember JESUS cares for you and is in every movement that you feel alone. 

-Remember the Inn keeper! His B and B was full, but he made room for Jesus. No matter how full your life is with stress, trouble, lack, family tensions or even your own importance. Make room for Jesus. Invite Him in right now. 

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

Your friend and Pastor,
Mark x

PS. Why not tune in on Wednesday night at 7.30pm for our final part of ‘Hope for Christmas’? on YouTube and Facebook.