Finding Jesus At Christmas... with the help of St Denys folk
This Christmas I noticed a wonderful mixture of ways that St Denys folk reflected Jesus' presence to a different people. Some expressions will have felt small & insignificant, others will have been hard and costly, many will have been folk just doing their thing. But I am convinced that each mattered and brought glory to Christ. Let me give a snapshot of just one situation where the young and old through word and action helped people see Jesus...
It was the Christmas Day Service and I'd been inspired by discovering an incomplete Nativity Set, so was talking about missing Jesus out of Christmas.
In preparing, I'd been thinking about the down-to-earth and honest faith of St Denys folk, and I'd wondered how they would answer the question: why does Jesus matter to you?
So I asked them! And I also asked if I could anonymously share their answers as part of the service and they said yes. So their answers became part of the Christmas Day service. (you'll find them below).
But that's not the end of the story...
As I stood in the service and revealed my incomplete Nativity Set, I spoke about missing Jesus and reflected that it might be busyness, or over-familiarity, or disappointment or pressure that means we miss Jesus out of Christmas.
And then little Benjy, aged 3, came running down the aisle towards me shouting:
'Sera, Sera, I found him. I found Jesus!'
Into my hands, he placed all the missing pieces of the Nativity Set. As I'd started to unveil the incomplete Nativity, he and his mum had gone looking through our Kidministry supplies, and found the missing characters. And so instinctively he ran straight away and brought them to me
It was so perfectly timed, I think most people thought it was pre-arranged. But it really wasn't. In an impromptu and unplanned way, Benjy brought Jesus back into Christmas.
And so I could placed Jesus along with Mary and the angel at the heart of the Nativity scene. With them in position, I showed the answers that St Denys folk had given as to why Jesus matters. And this is what they said:
Jesus matters because:
...of his unconditional love
... God breaking into our world to make himself known is pretty awesome
...of his unconditional love & support in our darkest times
...of his unending love for me has led me to trust him with my life entirely. So there’s no going back. I would not be the person I am nor the place I am today without Jesus
... he gives hope
... before social media everyone found out about Jesus; shepherds, kings and so many people. God reaches out to us whatever part of history we are in
...he represents hope. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in the world and in my life. With Jesus we always have hope for a better future
... Jesus serves as a constant light and a reminder of God’s eternal love, and helps me remember that this troubled time is only momentary and God will be there for us through it all.’
... all is well. God has a rescue plan. He has come to. As a baby. Jesus