Ed Said - The reason for the season
There may be several, depending on who you talk to. Others see the phrase as just a convenient rhyming of two words.
Many regard religion with fear and suspicion. They say they don’t believe in God yet they are happy to celebrate Christmas and show reverence to a fictitious, almost cartoon, character. They also refute many Bible claims but this is often due to what they see as demands.
Promises are made in the Bible but a degree of obedience is required to receive the true rewards of those promises. Prayers to Gods are said in every country on earth giving thanks and beseeching favour from ‘God’, any God, all manner of Gods, but still widely acknowledged, but in every case you have to give before you will receive.
There is nothing more inhumane than war yet wars are stopped on Christmas Day in respect of the birth of Christ, whether the warriors be Christian, Protestant, Catholic or even Communist. How is that for ridiculous or illogical? Or maybe not. One never reads of any soldier who would rather continue fighting on that day. Man’s reasoning is often devoid of logic isn’t it.
Given our predominantly English heritage we were held to Anglican philosophies but then we bear the influence of the whole of the British Isles – England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and all that entails. And so we get some none-too-subtle differences in how they view their religion, or ours. Rather than strictly following the word of God we often have very different interpretations.
Apparently there were four kinds of worshipper in the UK. First, the Scots, who kept the Sabbath – and everything else they could lay their hands on; Then the Welsh, who prayed on their knees – and their neighbours; The Irish, who never knew what they wanted – but were willing to fight for it anyway; Lastly there were the English who considered themselves self-made men, thus relieving the Almighty of a terrible responsibility.
Believers have different ways of establishing their relationship with God. Some pray out loud, some pray silently in private, many believe they have seen God or have had a conversation with him. Christianity comes to different people in different ways, some amazing, some believable and some unbelievable, but to leave on a lighter note I will relate the story of a modern day pastor.
Christmas is a time for giving – that includes some sage advice. Many people these days cannot go anywhere without their mobile phones. At almost every public meeting attendees are asked to turn their phones off to avoid interruptions. On a particular Sunday a modern day pastor addressed his congregation thus:
“When you enter this church it may be possible you will hear ‘the call of God.’ However, it is unlikely he will call you on your mobile. Thank you for turning off your phones. If you want to talk to God, enter, choose a quiet place and talk to him in your own way. On the other hand if you want to see Him - really see Him, just send Him a text while driving.”
I hope you catch the subtlety of this message, take care of yourselves and your families over the festive season. Enjoy a deserved break, the company and goodwill of those near and dear to you and many thanks for being with us this past year.
Kindest regards and best wishes from the Focus team,
Rob, Richard, Melody, Bex, Julia, Gael and Prof Worzel.