GOLD AMIDST THE GLITTER          - 24/12/2006      <--Prev : Next-->

'Gold amidst the glitter' by John Fischer

In the little town of Bethlehem, the most important birth in all of human history took place on what we now consider the first Christmas. It was sparsely attended by some bleating farm animals and a handful of shepherds who wouldn't have been there had not the sky lit up with a multitude of heavenly hosts only minutes before, praising God and inviting the shepherds to the stable. What an invitation! With the exception of that outburst, however, no one else knew. Oh yes, there were some astrologers from the East who figured out what was going on by studying the stars and some ancient manuscripts, but they didn't make it to town until at least a year or two later when the baby was a child. Why such an uneventful welcome for such an auspicious event? It's God's way. He's always been quiet about his work on earth. 'How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift was given/So God imparts to human hearts, the blessings of his heaven.' He's even pretty quiet about the way he works in our lives. Silently, he came into the world; silently, he comes into our hearts. No fanfare. No welcoming committee. God has never been into self-promotion. He lets his work speak for itself.

And that would be you and me. Believers are the result of Christ's coming. It is all about good news and glad tidings for all people. A Saviour has been born and he has been born for us. Or as the angel announced it: 'The Saviour -- yes, the Messiah, the Lord -- has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!' (Luke 2:11 NLT) It occurs to me there are two ways to take all the fanfare and glitter of this season. We can see it as the over-commercialism of Christmas, or we can take all the lights, and gifts, and decorations, and parties, and bells, and carols, and Christmas specials on TV -- even Santa and reindeer in the front yard -- and bank them all as celebrations of the birth of Christ. We can even take the conversion of old Scrooge as the joy of new life and forgiveness of sins.

There's no law against sanctifying the secularisation of Christmas in your own heart and mind. It's what we make of these things that count, anyway. Every single light can represent another soul secured in eternity as the result of what Christ has accomplished.

There was no room available for the Son of God when he came the first time. Let's make sure there's room in our hearts this Christmas, and don't let anyone take away what is good about the glad tidings of Christ's birth!