From The Manse

FROM THE MANSE

Dear Friends,

In John’s Gospel we read ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth’.

The literal meaning of ‘made his dwelling among us’ is ‘he pitched his tent among us’. This news was a revelation to say the least! John was proclaiming that God had become a human person, that in Jesus he had entered into this human life that we live, that, and here I quote Professor William Barclay, ‘eternity could appear in time’.

This is the message at the heart of Christmas but sadly for many it is not a message that is heard. The true and wonderful message of Christmas has for many been lost amidst the commercialisation and materialism of the age and I ask at what cost?

There are people who think that we worship a God who is far removed from life as we know it but nothing could be further from the truth. We have a God who decided to become human, a person just like us, a person who ate and drank and slept, who got tired and hungry, who experienced joy and sorrow. Our God knows only too well what life is like and because of that he can identify with us and all our earthly experiences.

We can be so familiar with the Christmas message that we overlook this wonderful miracle. God has made a commitment to us; God has shown us the extent of his love by pitching his tent among us and in Jesus, his beloved Son, he has identified with us. But there is more! In Jesus, God shows us a new and better way in which to live. In Jesus, God assures us that our sins will be forgiven. In Jesus, God offers us life in all its fullness and that not only now but for all eternity!

One of the names Jesus was given was ‘Immanuel’. This name means ‘God with us’. As we celebrate again the birth of our Lord let us remember the true message of Christmas and let us carry it with us into the New Year. Then we shall find the strength to face all that the days shall bring for we will know we are not alone and that God, who pitched his tent among us, is with us still and always will be!

Christmas blessings and every good wish for the year to come.

Your Friend and Minister,

Gary J McIntyre