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Christmas and Suffering

Hebrews 5:8 Jesus was the Son of God, but he still suffered, and through his sufferings he learned to obey whatever God says.

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Christmas and Suffering


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Do you know what scares me about Christmas? It’s the fact that we so take for granted the way we celebrate it. It’s become such an entrenched ritual in our lives. And entrenched rituals have a funny habit of causing us to completely miss the point.

In a world where there’s so much suffering and pain – but at the same time, so many different choices that we can make: entertainment choices, lifestyle choices, career choices – in a world that seems to have moved on from that age-old story of Bethlehem, is there really any point in celebrating Christmas anymore?

It seems sometimes, walking through the shopping malls in the lead up to Christmas, that it’s all about ritzy displays selling us stuff that we really don’t need, cutesy carols piped through the sound systems with the lyrics conveniently removed, and all that razzamatazz.

I remember one Christmas years ago when I was suffering a lot. I was in agony and basically not functioning all that well. And you know, all this happy-clappy stuff that makes up Christmas – for me back then – made things much worse.

Stand back and look at what Christmas has become, even in our own lives, and you realise that it’s such a long way away from that very first Christmas. When Mary suffered … I mean, imagine riding two weeks on a donkey (if indeed there was a donkey) when you’re full term, just to give birth in a smelly stable.

And of course, she gave birth to a child – Jesus – who was born to suffer – a lot.

Hebrews 5:8 Jesus was the Son of God, but he still suffered, and through his sufferings he learned to obey whatever God says.

Hmm … the Christmas we celebrate today … I just wonder sometimes … and yet, in the middle of all that, it turns out that Jesus is no stranger to suffering.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.


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