by: Matt Levett
As we start this series of Christmas blogs together I thought I’d introduce myself. A young person once wrote this about me and it probably sums me up better than I could do so myself….
“Matt is an avid admirer of all things comic book - especially Wonder Woman. He loves films; loves good food; loves surfing (but is really quite bad at it!) and loves open water ice swimming. He plays Risk – a lot, and he has a mysterious interest in cryptozoology and actually attends the Eurovision Song contest every year?! In his spare time he helps run a charity for street kids in Latin America and gets out there whenever he can. Oh yeah … and the most important bit. He has been involved in Church ministry all his life. He really believes that the local Church really is the hope for the world. He loves teaching theology to the ‘non-religious’. He’s really passionate about young people & mission and thinks that living for Jesus is not just a good thing but the best thing. No, really he does ….”
So that’s me! I don’t speak Croatian – so the lovely Tamara has the unenviable job of translating my English rambling into something that makes sense to you. But I’ve been travelling from the UK to Croatia to help with a Church partnership for years now and your beautiful country is in my blood.
Now, a confession as we start these Blogs together…. I’m a man who gets distracted when I’m writing. In fact I get distracted a lot. I wonder if my life is just one big distraction actually, but then again it’s what we do in our ‘distraction’ moments that tells us most about who we are, doesn’t it? And maybe we can learn something from looking at life sideways or from an unusual distracted perspective. Which leads us to Christmas Unwrapped…
We’ve lived it every year since we were little. When the excitement of presents and food and Father Christmas kept us awake all through the later nights of December. And those of us of faith feel the joy of the deeper significance of the celebration of the birth of Jesus. And as we attend services and sing Christmas songs we remember the story of Mary and Joseph and their travels on a donkey to Bethlehem once again.
But maybe there are still some new things we can learn. So in this month – the month leading up to Christmas - we’re going to take a look at that Christmas Story again but through the eyes of some different people. People profoundly affected by the birth but people we don’t often hear from. There are so many people we could mention in our blogs together.
Herod who sought to kill every boy child thinking he was ruler and in charge – no God King was going to stop him doing what he wanted when he wanted it.
How many of us sometimes think like that ?
Elizabeth whose pregnancy was overshowed by her cousins and who might have felt just a little bit of envy or jealousy that she wasn’t centre of attention?
How many of us occasionally feel that?
Or the Inn keeper who said “There is no room” and the child born who came to throw open the doors of heaven and say “There is always room”
How many of us need to hear that?
It’s all there in the Christmas Story. So as we start this journey can I encourage you to do something? Take some time. Grab yourself a drink. Sit in your favourite chair. Dim the lights, open up the Bible and re-read that Christmas story. Read it and ask that God speaks to you afresh this Christmas time. Read it and start to wonder…