Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.
Main Readings: Numbers 21.4-9; Psalm 107.1-3,17-22; Ephesians 2.1-10; John 3.14-21
Supplementary Readings: Psalm 69.20-25; Galatians 2.11-21; Jeremiah 31.27-37; Psalm 119.73-80; Mark 15.1-20
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3.16)
The Christmas Eve family service at All Saints’, Chermside last year focused on a number of surprising things found in the Christmas story, including that God didn’t choose someone famous or special to be his parents; that Jesus was born in a place where animals were kept; and, that the gifts that were given to Jesus were unusual. However, what struck me the most during the service is that God came to earth in the person of Jesus simply because He loves us (John 3.16).
Although we have done nothing to deserve His love, and in fact have rejected Him and trampled on his laws, God came to earth to rescue us from the mess we have got ourselves into. He came to earth to invite us into relationship with Him. He came to be our Saviour.
God came to earth on that first Christmas day to offer us a very special gift – the gift of forgiveness of our sins and the opportunity to have a loving, personal relationship with Him. The choice is ours. Are we going to reject that gift and throw it away? Are we going to leave it unwrapped and perhaps look at it another day when the trappings of this world are no longer attractive to us?
Or are we going to choose to receive His gift gladly? This choice will be one of, if not the most important, decisions of our lives, and needs to be considered prayerfully.
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