Christmas can be life changing - by the Rev Andrew Ison, Vicar of Driffield

Andrew Ison ps1216-14a
Andrew Ison Pictured by Pam Stanforth ps1216-14a

Andrew Ison ps1216-14a Andrew Ison Pictured by Pam Stanforth ps1216-14a

The slogan “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas” was coined back in 1978 by the then Chief Executive of the Dog’s Trust, Clarissa Baldwin.

As the owner of a dog, Lottie, I can fully concur with the commitment a dog is.

The dog needs exercising, but then again so do I!

The dog needs food and 
we have to think about our day and our lives as a family to accommodate the needs of this extra and very different member of the family.

One, who is always loving, always pleased to see us and one who bears no grudges. But that statement, although about a dog, has at its’ heart an important message for us all.

It reminds us that events and decisions in our lives have consequences.

The choices we make today affect tomorrow. And as we find ourselves in the post Christmas period our attitude to the message of Christmas has consequences.

Attending several school nativity plays before Christmas I was moved by the fact that whatever the individual take on the tale was, they all remained true to the heart of the story, that Jesus was born the Son of God, in Bethlehem to bring salvation to the world.

And so in this post Christmas period we should ask ourselves, what is our response to that great event. Echoing that initial slogan we should recognise that ‘Christmas is for life, not just for Christmas day’!

Christmas has consequences for us all because Jesus came into the world to set us free from the thing that entraps humanity, sometimes called sin. When God created the world it was perfect.

In fact, humanity had a great privilege, living in the Garden of Eden, life was good, we had all we needed. But we desired the one thing that was not ours, the knowledge of good and evil. Yielding to that temptation, brought death into the world and a separation from God, our creator.

The Old Testament catalogues the attempts for reconciliation between God’s people and God and foretells that God will fix the problem himself because humanity is unable to find a way back to God.

He sends his son to die on the cross taking all of humanity’s wrongdoing on himself so that we may have a way back to God.

That event was for each one of us, Jesus took our sin with him, whether we believe in him or not.

And here we come to the crunch after Christmas.

Do we just forget about it until next year and get back on the commercial treadmill or do we realise that Christmas is just as important in the days that follow as it ever was?

It has life changing 
possibilities but if we chose to or choose not to respond to Christmas it has consequences for our future. ‘Christmas is for life, not just for Christmas day’!

l See next week’s Driffield Times & Post for a Thought for the Week Column from Rev Mark Witherden.

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