Pastor’s Pen 23rd December 2018

Shalom. Let the joy of Christmas fill you with awe.
Well it’s a few days to Christmas; I don’t know about you, but I love Christmas. The trick I find is to keep reminding myself that it’s really about Jesus. For that’s the catch for Christmas sometimes isn’t it;  that we can move Jesus from central position? Yes, he’s still important, but it’s not primarily about him anymore. But when he was born, this world forever changed. I am reminded of the song “When a Child is Born” 
A ray of hope flickers in the sky  
A tiny star lights up way up high  
All across the land dawns a brand new morn’,  
This comes to pass when a child is born.  
A silent wish sails the seven seas 
The winds of change whisper in the trees  
And the walls of doubt crumble tossed and torn,  
This comes to pass when a child is born.  
A rosy dawn settles all around 
You got to feel you’re on solid ground  
For a spell or two no one seems forlorn  
This come to pass when a child is born.  
It’s all a dream, an illusion now. 
It must come true some time soon somehow  
All across the land dawns a brand new morn  
This comes to pass when a child is born. 
 There is the promise of potential in a newborn child. I can remember holding each of my boys for the first time, and remembering feeling a deeper insight into how God must feel about us.  “For God so loved the world, he gave his only son…” You can finish it off, but if you can’t, see me. 
Ever wondered why we have some of those traditions at Christmas? 

The true meaning of the Candy Cane
Look at the Candy Cane 
What do you see? 
Stripes that are red 
Like the blood shed for me 
White is for my Savior 

Who’s sinless and pure! 
“J” is for Jesus My Lord, that’s for sure! 
Turn it around 
And a staff you will see 
Jesus my shepherd 
Was born for Me!  
Many years ago, a candy maker wanted to make a candy at Christmas time that would serve as a witness to his Christian faith. He wanted to incorporate several symbols for the birth, ministry and death of Jesus. He began with a stick of pure white hard candy; white to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus; hard to symbolize the solid rock, the foundation of the Church; firmness to represent the promise of God. 
The candymaker made the candy in the form of a “J” to represent the name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. He thought it could also represent the staff of the Good Shepherd, with which he reached down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.  
Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received, by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life. Unfortunately, the candy became known as a candy cane – a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the true meaning is still there for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.  
If you’re traveling to spend Christmas with family and or friends somewhere, have a safe trip and I’ll look forward to seeing you next year. If not, see ya next week!

Bless ya
Pastor Mike