The Best Christmas Present!

“11 Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—    yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment.”   Isaiah ch 11 verses 1 to 5

This week we will be lighting the second candle on our Advent wreath in church which heralds Peace. I wonder how ‘peaceful’ you are feeling at this time of the year? As I drive to work in a morning, I see more and more Christmas decorations being put up, at school the students are becoming increasingly more excited about the presents that they are hoping to receive and I am so aware of the stresses and strains being faced by so many families. The CDW foodbank is seeing more people coming through their doors and in desperate need of support due to the decrease in Universal Credit payments and pressure to provide the extras for Christmas.  This passage foretells of the real gift of Christmas, of the coming of Jesus Christ who would be full of God’s wisdom and understanding and who would not judge by appearances or listen to hearsay. He would give justice to the poor and make fair decisions. Jesus did not come into this world as the mighty warrior that so many people expected but was born as a baby and was a servant king. This gift was given for all of us and we do not have to wait until Christmas to unwrap it – Jesus is here for us and available for us now.  Our speaker last week said that we should be ‘Standing on the promises not sitting in the premises’. This Christmas I would like to encourage everyone to take time to revisit the real meaning of Christmas, this is a time of celebration, a time for joy. Let’s take time to remember the hope (week 1) of Advent and rest in His Peace.  Ali