Message from the Minister

Christmas 2015

Only the good....?

A father took his son Billy to the shopping centre to see Santa. They stood in line until finally the boy was able to meet Santa and sit on his lap.
“What would you like for Christmas, Billy?” asked Santa.
“An X-Box and a Hobbit game,” Billy said.
“Okay, we’ll see what we can do about that,” said Santa with a big smile.
Later on they found another Santa at a different store. Thinking it might help to emphasise his request, Billy wanted to see him too. And, as before, when Santa asked Billy what he wanted for Christmas, Billy said, “An X-Box and a Hobbit game.”
“Will you be a good boy and do what your daddy tells you?” Santa asked.
Billy turned to his father and said, “Let’s go back to the other Santa, Dad.”
“Why Billy?” asked his father.
“Because I don't have to make deals with that one!”
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Is that how it works?
You'd better watch out. You'd better not cry. You'd better not pout. I'm telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list and checking it twice. He's gonna find out who's naughty and nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you are sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good. So be good for goodness sake!”
It's a favourite Christmas song, which became an instant hit in the 1930s. Since then it has been sung by many great artists, including, among a large number of others,  Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Beach Boys, the Pointer Sisters, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, the Supremes, Miley Cyrus, Andrea Bocelli, Rod Stewart, Kylie Minogue.
So......  we'd better be good to get blessed at Christmas!   Right?
Convenient as it may be to tell this to the kids, it's actually profoundly wrong in terms of the real Christmas story. And much as I enjoy the song – no doubt it will get played in our home sometime over the festive season – if we adapt its sentiment to thoughts of God, it gives a badly skewed picture of someone with a big check list who rewards us on the basis of how well we've done.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth – at least, the truth bundled up in the babe born in Bethlehem. The whole point of Christmas is that Jesus came into the world for people who are not good. And God gives his supreme Gift to people who don't deserve it. That's why it brings such hope.
We wish you a lovely Christmas. It would be great to see you at one or other of the services.
Every blessing

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