Friday, 22 December 2017

Low batteries this Christmas......

You know when the battery on your phone is starting to go and it just doesn't have the power it used to have.  You continue to charge it but it doesn't last the day, it seems to lose its power much quicker as each day goes on.  I have heard people say that’s when you need a new phone or new battery, the old one just doesn't work the same anymore.  Many people have no problem with throwing away the old and getting the new, latest one. I grew up with a dad who always lived in such a way that he held onto things and used them right up until they didn't work anymore. He would revive and refresh and re-fix everything over and over again. But what if it can’t be fixed? What if there are some things that have to die and new things that must be made new?

This year I limp into Christmas, with a broken heart that just doesn't seem able to re-charge. It is 8 weeks since my dad suddenly died and left me with a very big hole in my life. Right now, no amount of work, cheer, distraction, friends, family and even food seems to fill the hole for very long. The battery is low and as Christmas day looms, my “charge” grows weaker.

I think so many of us run so hard all year, that we limp into Christmas Holidays with a low battery. Sometimes that is self-inflicted and then other times it is due to circumstances and events that are beyond our control. And yet as a Pastor/Minister it is up to me to put a smile on my face and lead others in the message of Christmas. The message of love, joy, peace and hope. 

I can’t help but wonder if God’s plan for love and peace and joy and hope was thwarted so many times that His battery got so low that he decided the world needed something new, that something had to die for new hope to be birthed.

Jesus coming to this earth as a baby was such a new story, one the world had never seen. God in the form of a human, living and giving in the most extraordinary ways, until He chose to die on a cross and rise again for our us, in order to bring love, joy, peace and hope. And this new thing all began that very first Christmas.

Some things cannot be revived, refreshed or re-fixed. The batteries will just not charge like they used to and sometimes we do need something new. My dad is gone and he will not come back. I miss him every day, all the things that he fixed, remade, refreshed, revived over the years are now being thrown away and eventually the traces of my dad will be only in our memories. I know I am blessed to have such beautiful ones. It is a painful process saying “goodbye”. I believe that Dad is already refreshed, revived, renewed … but we have to go on.

So where does that leave me? I choose joy, love, hope and peace. I choose to be reminded this Christmas of the wonderful story where God came into this world to do a new thing, so that we might leave the old and step into the new. I choose to believe that God’s plan has never changed and that, like my father’s faith, I hold onto it, even when I am limping. If Dad were here he would be pragmatic enough to accept that God has it all in hand and that we have to simply do the best we can for the time we are here in these mortal bodies. I am not sure if he would be able to throw the phone out. I am sure he would try to fix it, but, hey, maybe 2018 it will be time for a new phone. Or at least I certainly hope it will be a year where HIS joy, peace and love will sustain me and help my batteries to re-charge.

I pray if you are limping into Christmas and your batteries are low, that the message of Christmas will re-charge and revive you. There is hope, joy peace and love to be found in the birth of Jesus.  You simply have to choose it.