Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

25 December 2009

A Cross from Bethlehem

I was given this small wooden cross about a month ago from another member of a committee on which we both serve. He picked it up while visiting Israel during October. It's made from the wood of an olive tree from Bethlehem. I showed it to our six year old son and explained where it came from.

With eyes as big as saucers he said, “Is Bethlehem real?”
M: Yes.
R: Where is it?
I show him on the map. I thought we had done that before, but maybe not...
M: Didn’t you think Bethlehem was a real place? Did you think it was just a place in a story?
R: I know that everything in the Bible is true, Mummy. Now I know that it is real too.

We have a mad collection of decorations for our Christmas tree. Our tree, when decorated, is no glitzy, department store, colour co-ordinated masterpiece. But it is beautiful to us because nearly every decoration has a story behind it - a Kindergarten craft masterpiece, a gift from a precious friend, a reminder of a special time - and we love to remember each story and give thanks for each special person and occasion behind the decorations as we decorate our tree. This cross from Bethlehem is one of the treasures, with its own special story, that we have added to our tree this year.

Merry Christmas, and may your hearts be filled with joy as you reflect on the One who was sent - a baby born in Bethelehem on that very first Christmas - to be our Saviour. And rejoice.

No comments: