This Christmas we follow Matthew’s story. Writing to a Jewish readership, Matthew endeavours to explain how Jesus is their long anticipated Messiah. However, his arrival is nothing like they expected and indeed quite curious.
Over the next four Sundays we will explore a different aspect of the theme: a Curious Christmas, a Curious Birth, a Curious Lineage, and Curious Dreams. Then on Christmas morning we will gather to worship this Jesus who although born a human being is the Son of God. (If you are in Hobart, you are most welcome to attend this service taking place at 9:30 am, at 284 Elizabeth St, Hobart.)Yet we celebrate Christmas in the midst of festivities that have become more and more commercialised and full of materialism. It is curious how the celebration of God emptying himself of what it meant to be God and becoming a human being (Philippians 2:7) has become an excuse for us to consume, spend and focus on ourselves. Such consumerism has very little to do with the birth of Christ or the celebration of Emmanuel – God with us.
What would it mean for us this Christmas if we thought less about the shopping list and more about the things God has done for us? What would it mean if we gave less room in our lives for the commercialism and materialism and made more room for the eternal? What would it mean if we stopped for a moment, took time to reflect and ‘do’ Christmas differently? The more we think about Jesus can only be good for us.
Advent is such a time. It is a time for coming together as the body of Christ to worship and adore the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is a moment where we pause and take the focus off ourselves and our families, it is an opportunity to withdraw from the pressures of the season and make time to honour the birth of our great King and Saviour Jesus.
Stephen L Baxter