Thought for the week – week 51

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‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders, and he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ – Isaiah 9: verse six.

We are celebrating the birth of the boy who was to be called Jesus who introduced surprising new ways to make our lives meaningful and productive. They must have come as a shock to many of the people of his time who had been brought up to believe the way of the world is to retaliate to aggression and to reply to hurt by getting our own back, sending down resentment from one generation to the next.

Yet here was a descendant of the warrior king David coming to teach people to forgive their enemies and to do good to those who hate and pray for those who ill treat them.

Behaviour like this may seem unnatural, even needing tolerance beyond our capabilities. We discover the special relationship with God that Jesus called ‘the Kingdom of Heaven’ and his influence that can make our lives more positive and constructive.

Jesus taught that God is love and his influence is all around us to be discovered. Transformation of antagonists and enemies into friends is a wonderful objective, as Jesus said: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’ particularly since the alternative is continued enmity and resentment that can poison our personal lives and even whole societies.

In this busy Christmas season, let us pause and take time to reflect upon this true message of Christmas.

Janet and Geoff Fairbairn