RISKY BUSINESS

Christmas time is almost here. Preparations for the yearly festive event must be in full flow by now both in the Church as well as our families. Amongst all this mayhem of shopping, baking, spending, arranging, decorating and stressing we must never forget the meaning and purpose of Christmas – which is so easy…

I have a yearly ‘tradition’ during the Christmas Season. I re-read the Gospel accounts of the Birth of Christ with an eager desire to find the hidden gems that the Holy Spirit can reveal afresh. And the joy and beauty of it is that I find them every year. This is what I found this time around. It struck me that, in the birth of the Saviour, God is a risk taker. Ponder on this:

  • The Virgin Birth – surely this miraculous event in history has given way to so many questions, queries and raised eyebrows. Could Jesus not have been ‘landed’ on our planet in a Superman way on a sophisticated machine? Why feed all the intellectuals of the future with reasons for doubt over the supernatural event? Why take the risk and put Mary and Joseph through all the potential gossip? It’s a risk…
  • The Parents – the two inexperienced, unwealthy, unpedigreed, possibly teenagers were certainly not my ideal choice of parents for bringing-up the Messiah? What if they would mess it up? Why not choose an experienced, middle class couple…teachers or psychologists even. Surely that would be more suitable for the educational, emotional, and intellectual development of the child… It’s a risk…
  • The Place – this seems to be the ultimate in apparent ‘mismatches’. Surely the manger is no safe and healthy place to deliver a baby. Should the highest qualified obstetricians in the world be on hand to look after the mother and baby? Would they be safe with all the animals around? Surely without the sterile environment of a modern day delivery room the risk of infection would be so high… It’s a risk…

Every single one of this issues point out to a God who is taking a risk. In fact the entire life and ministry of Christ is peppered with elements of risk – and all that because He wanted to show how much He loved us, me and you. He was willing to risk all for us!

And I guess such a love demands a risk taking life from us all – those who claim to know love and worship Him. Would you be willing to take risks during this Christmas season? Let me drop a few hints:

  • Bringing joy to a lonely elderly person by going carol singing in a Residential Home
  • Inviting a lonely person to celebrate Christmas with your family
  • Showing love and kindness to family members you might find ‘challenging’
  • Talking about what Christmas means to you with your school/work colleagues

I hope and pray that, by God’s grace and in the true spirit of Christmas, we will be risk takers too – people who bring God’s love, hope and joy to a world that needs it so badly!

 

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