Tag Archives: Jesus

7 Days of Thankfulness – A reprise

I’m writing now in defiance. I received some deep prayer at church this evening and all kinds of ugly things surfaced. The things I said, I couldn’t even believe were falling off my lips. Memories of scowling, clawing in this irrational rage and fear at my dear friend whom I love, who was on the prayer team that day. The words ‘I bind you’ hitting my insides like a sledgehammer, wrenching cries out of me and leaving me clutching at the pew in terror; the horrible sight of her cross necklace making me writhe, so that I had to push it away and cover it with my hand: “Get that thing away from me,” my voice cried. What came over me? What was I thinking? How could I do that, or think that, or even feel that way, about the Cross that I so love? When we were done I felt like I’d been dragged backwards through a hedge. My knees were so weak I could hardly stand up for a moment. Now I’m home. The freshmint ‘new penny’ feeling has faded and distressing intrusive images have been filling my head. With compulsive urges to do things when that still, small voice says ‘no’. So I’m writing in defiance. I’m going to be thankful to God in Christ Jesus tonight and I’m going to praise him even if it hurts.

I’m going to think of three things for which I’m going to thank God, and I’m not going to write them here. I’ve got prayer to do, and I generally do my prayer laptop-closed. Please pray for me, whoever you are reading this. I hadn’t thought that that sort of thing happened to believers, either.

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A mediocre poem inspired by a reading of ‘The Cross of Christ’ by John Stott this morning.

O Christ, O God, sacrificed for me,
Can words capture all that you’re worth?
You made yourself nothing so I could be free,
God-man come down, sentenced from birth.

God-man come down, how fragile this life
That raw human will could destroy you?
O sacrifice lamb, you complied with the knife
That the power of the worlds reserved for you.

Statute of old for a world full of vice,
God-crimes are paid in blood sacrifice.
Their blood-debts ran rife, their hearts turned to dross,
So God gave his life for their crimes on his Cross.

O grave, silent Power that drives the earth,
O Master of woes, wails and sins!
The clamour of pomp but a flower-span’s worth,
You drove as a lamb from within.

O Almighty Power, O still small voice,
Quiet as the cosmos and deeper.
Invisible breath in the sails of choice,
O Sacrifice Lamb, be my Keeper.

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Why Jesus Aces Santa Claus

Santa Jesus
Santa isn’t real. Jesus is real.
Santa is an old man in a red suit with a herd of flying reindeer. Jesus is God made flesh.
Santa only visits once per year. Jesus promises to always be there.
Santa only gives you earthly, perishable things that don’t last. Jesus gives you eternal things and earthly things often come with them.
You can’t get gifts from Santa if you’ve been a bad boy or girl this year. Jesus’ gifts aren’t dependent on how many times you’ve stuffed up.
Santa cannot fix broken lives, he can only add a bit of sparkle to ‘okay’ lives. Jesus doesn’t just fix us, he brings us back from the dead.
Santa can’t forgive our sins, help us stop sinning or reconcile us to God. Jesus can, did and does.
Santa usually goes away after your parents die. If Jesus is with you, he will never leave you no matter what happens to your parents.
Santa has changed over the years (especially since a certain Coca Cola advert) and will be forgotten about one day. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Santa isn’t relevant to a lot of peoples and cultures in the world. Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords – and that covers every tribe, tongue and nation.
Of those who believe in Santa, Santa mysteriously seems to give more to the kids with rich parents than to the kids with poor parents. Jesus gives generously to all who trust in him, no matter how much their parents earn.

Adapted from John Piper’s podcast: Santa Claus: Harmless Fun or Christmas Disruption? (Episode 235) (https://soundcloud.com/askpastorjohn/santa-claus-harmless-fun-or). Some of the stuff on this list is my own or in my own wording, so check out the original!

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