Does anyone remember video tapes?
Showing my age, eh!
Do you remember recording films on these things, but sometimes, if you hadn’t rewound the tape, you would watch a film and then at the critical moment, IT WOULD STOP AND REWIND.
Often at the worst possible moment, with you desperately wanting to know how the story ends.
I think this is often what we do with the Christmas story too, we stop the tape and re-wind it, just after the wise men get to visit Jesus.
We don’t want the tape to continue playing as we have to confront genocide, refugees, flawed humanity capable of great evil, the wisdom and words of Christ, the claims he made about himself, bread that truly satisfied, the resurrection and the life, the good Sheppard who gives his life for his sheep, the light of the world that shines in the darkness and the gate or doorway that is the way, the truth and the life, the only way to the Father… but more than the claims he made were his actions, touching the untouchable, eating with sinners, outcasts the marginalised and disenfranchised, calming storms and feeding the hungry culminating with his death on a cross and rising in glory.
It’s a story worth hearing.
Yet it is not one we just spectate as a bystander.
We can be involved.
You see this is God’s story… A love story, which invites us to join our story with his story.
You see, God step down into his world as Christ Jesus, to live as one of us, not a God remote and distant on some cloud, but God who knows and understand, whose eyes have cried, whose hands have clasped, and his cheeked kissed by a betrayer.
He knows all about us, even the ‘us’ we try to hide, and yet knowing us at our worst, he still loves us and holds out his hand in relationship too us.
Yet in dying and rising from the dead, he took our sin that caused that barrier between us and God, and wiped the slate clean so now we can approach God with a clear conscience knowing that through Christ we have been forgiven and cleansed, and through him we can enter into the great party of eternity with God, where we will literally party as though there is no tomorrow.
So a challenge, play the tape, and hear who Christ claims to be.
Play the tape, and see that we have messed up and need cleansing and forgiveness.
Play the tape and see our rescue and redemption paid in full upon the cross of Christ.
Play the tape and see our sure and certain hope of resurrection to new and eternal life with Christ.
Play the tape and see our story and the story of God become one story joined together that will never end.