by Karen Moreton
Well here we are in December again; winding up another year and buying frantically for another Christmas.
As Christmas gets counted down in “shopping days to go” and we all get caught up in the hectic flurry, my question is; Does Christmas mean anything anymore? And if so, how can we recapture some wonder this Christmas?
I had the privilege of visiting Israel in January this year. Can I share with you the wonder I discovered in the little town of Bethlehem.
I stood at a place they call “The Shepherd’s Hills” and gazed out over the softly undulating land. It wasn’t too hot, their summer was subsiding. It was a little dusty, they don’t get much rain. It wasn’t very safe; there were machine guns pointed at us as we passed through towering razor wire fences at the border check point.
What impacted me most was not the razor wire, not the machine guns, nor the drought.
As our group of Aussie tourists gazed together over the shepherd’s hills of Bethlehem, we realised that what happened in this tiny, desolate town 2012 years ago, has hugely impacted history, even splitting time in two ( BCE or AD).
Bethlehem is an insignificant town with a hugely significant story — the story that a God of love did not leave us to our own resources. Instead He reached into our needy world with His God-child named Jesus, who showed us how to live life to the full, how to love, how to forgive, how to help our fellow man but most importantly how to get in touch with the One who made us. Jesus said that our greatest joy, hope and fulfilment would come from finding connection with God.
I hope you and your family have a wonder-filled Christmas. I hope you realise you have a friend in very high places, who offers you the best Christmas gift ever — the gift of love, forgiveness and eternal life through friendship with Him.
Wishing you joy, peace and love this Christmas.