What are you short of this Christmas?

A seasonal message from Pastor Mostyn Roberts

 

IN Autumn the news spread that Christmas could be miserable. Containers full of Christmas goods were sitting in our ports. Too few workers in our factories, too few lorry drivers, too few staff on the docksides. Paw Patrol toys and Barbies would be in short supply. Harry Potter wands could double in price. Bikes could not get tyres from China. Christmas was under threat. Panic buying of turkeys had already begun. The threat of shortages cast a gloom over the festive season.

Questions

Shortages are a new experience for most of us but they are a timely reminder of the fragility of our system. They do raise questions:

  • What if there were goods of which there could never be a shortage? They would have to be different kinds of goods from what we enjoy at Christmas.
  • How can we avoid shortages? We would need a perfect system.
  • Is there a place where there would never be a shortage? It would have to be a very different place from this earth.

More challenging is this question:

  • Does our fear of shortages reveal something profoundly wrong in our attitudes to material things? How has Christmas become a festival of wanting things, wanting more, and panicking when our supply is threatened?

Supply

Christmas began with the birth of Jesus in a cattle stall in the middle eastern town of Bethlehem, in the kind of poverty that many who complain of shortages have never experienced. But Christmas is also a celebration of a gift which will never run out.

  • The gift is the love of God shown in his Son, Jesus, given to die for our sins and bring us to God: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
  • The supply line is perfect because God has no problems in getting what he wants done: For nothing will be impossible with God (Luke 1:37).
  • The place of no shortages is the kingdom of God, where God is at work on earth, and ultimately a new creation that God will bring in: They shall hunger no more, neither shall they thirst anymore …he will guide them to springs of living water’ (Revelation 7:16,17).
  • Above all, the birth of Christ shows us that we value the wrong things and therefore fear shortages of things that are actually of secondary importance: Do not labour for the food that perishes but for the food that endures to eternal life (John 6:27).

Abundance

A favourite carol begins ‘Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour, all for love’s sake becamest poor’. It is based on these words in the New Testament: For you know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).
We who are relatively rich materially fear losing out on some material pleasures at Christmas. But the Bible tells us we are terribly poor in spiritual things. We can do without material luxuries (which describes most of what we worry about). We cannot do without the love of God and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ. To know Jesus is to be truly rich.
Don’t worry about the shortages. Turn to God for the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. In Christ are riches that can never fail.

Mostyn Roberts, Pastor
Tel: 01438 715372