December is here. Excitement builds as the month races on.
In a distant place people await a hero to give the oppressed hope, a leader to bring victory over the powers of darkness and tyranny. People gather around this figure expectantly. The anticipation of this event has been told by many, over years. Throughout the galaxy, there have been hints and rumours and now this icon is taking their place, to fight the final fight, the deciding battle where good will triumph.
December the 20th sees the latest episode in the epic story that is Star Wars hit the silver screens. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little excited.
A few thousand years ago in a distant place, rumours of the coming of a great leader were whispered throughout the region, mentioned in scriptures and conversations. These were stories of someone who would change the course of history. A saviour that would conquer evil and bring hope to generations. A leader that thousands would follow, that would lead the way in the triumph of good.
As we approach Christmas amongst the tinsel and turkey, presents and pudding we remember the birth of a man of history; Jesus. We don’t, however, think of him as powerful and world changing but as a defenceless baby swaddled in clothes, born in humble surroundings. The image of that baby does not foretell the miracles that he would perform, or the impact on history and everyday life that would still be present some two thousand years later. What we see when we look at this child in Christmas scenes or school nativity plays is love: The love that Mary and Joseph would have had for their new-born, and the love that God has for all humankind. Within the child there was the spark of possibility, what would this new life hold, what would he be as child, as a teenager, as a man.
I wonder how many looked at that baby and could see the possibilities and potential that was within him that would lead him to fulfil all that was written in scripture before he was born, not many, I guess. And yet as a man who travelled no more than a few hundred miles, who wrote no books and led no armies: His life changed the course of human history and has shaped the lives and cultures of millions across the globe.
When we look at the people and situations around us, I wonder how often we too miss the potential and the possibilities that are in those around us and in ourselves.
The concepts of love and possibilities are at the heart of Christmas whether your focus at this time of year is Jesus, family, presents or Star Wars, Maybe even all four of them.
This Christmas, I pray that you will know both the love of those around you and also the love that God has for you. That you will see the possibilities that are in you and the people you meet.
Have a Merry Christmas and you are welcome to join us at the Vine at any time as we celebrate Christmas the possibilities that Jesus brings.