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Showing posts from December, 2016

Monthly Munch: December 2016 (pre-Christmas edition)

Well, I know it's not the end of December yet, but I thought we'd have a whole bunch more photos once we'd got through Christmas.  So here's the rest of the month (also quite Christmassy). Christmas lights at Calke Abbey Toby - has been really struggling with illness, poor boy.  He's had several occurrences of being sick in the night, plus hives and swollen eyes, plus a cold. - was pleased to meet Marshall and Chase from the Paw Patrol at Markeaton Park. - enjoyed a Christmas-themed Inspire Day at school - I got to go and do lots of crafts with him for a morning. - managed not to eat all the sweets before making a christingle with them. Theo - was a sleepy shepherd in his first pre-school nativity. - describes anything he likes as "so beautiful". - carefully hung as many baubles as possible on the bottom branches of the tree. - can tell you all the names of the Paw Patrol characters, but was not so sure about

Jesus came to earth... to be glorified over us

Finally.   Jesus got through the suffering and the death, and reached the glory.   The happy ending – or possibly the happy beginning.   This is what it’s all been leading up to.   Did he really have to go through all that hard stuff first? As you can probably guess by now, the answer is a resounding yes.   Across the pages of the New Testament, it rings like a clanging bell:   “Cross… glory.   Cross… glory.   Cross… glory.”   It was only through the humiliation that Jesus obtained his exaltation.   Only through being born in a stable that he became king of the universe.   Only through dying that he gave eternal life. And the amazing thing is that once again, we can share in this.   Jesus was glorified as a person ; the whole point of his coming was to bring our humanity back into the presence of God.   We are human whether we like it or not.   He is human because he chose to be; and in that choosing he showed us the path to redemption.   We share in his suffering, w

Jesus came to earth... to die for us

Outside, a white frost covers the ground.   Shrivelled brown stalks stick up out of the bare earth, and the trees stand leafless against the steely sky.   The light comes late, and leaves early, casting long shadows as it goes.   Life and colour has faded away.   This is the season of death. Yet we know that under the frosty soil, seeds and roots are preparing for their rebirth in spring.   Green shoots will sprout, dancing daffodils appear, and the world will come to life once more.   And between the death and the life, we celebrate Christmas. We don’t fear the death of winter, because we know that it is only the prelude to new life.   Jesus, too, spoke of his death as the means to glory, and used the analogy of a seed in winter.   If a grain of wheat isn’t buried, he said, it stays just that: one solitary seed.   But when it dies, it can bring forth a whole new plant, bursting with heads of grain.   And he issues a challenge, recorded by all four gospel writers: Do y

Jesus came to earth… to suffer with us

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.   Hebrews 2:10 It’s an intriguing verse, isn’t it?   We might think of Jesus’ suffering as regrettable, even unavoidable, but fitting ?   Why was it fitting that Jesus should suffer?   Why, when the creator of the universe set in place his saving plan, should the pain not merely be necessary, but somehow deeply right?     It is certainly not that all suffering is essentially good.   Any response to suffering simply must cry out against the children maimed by war or disease, the lives forever shadowed by abuse, the hearts shattered by one blow after another, and say: This should not be happening.   This is not right. So God in Jesus didn’t say, it’ll be all right in the end.   He said something greater:   I am in it with you.   Jesus’ job was to plunge into the depths of all that wrongness, all that go