Rievaulx Methodist Church
serving rievaulx, villages of upper ryedale & surrounding farms

November 2018 Blog:

Christmas focus

I do love Christmas but did you know the season of Christmas begins on 25th December till 6th January, not the end of October! I do sometimes wonder what ever happened to the season of Advent!


The first Advent, leads us into Bethlehem’s manger where we hear the angelic hosts singing and Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloths. We love the fuss and the excitement that Christmas can bring. School nativity plays, a chance to sing the old familiar carols and the giving and receiving of gifts.

Considering we spend so much time focussing on Christmas it’s interesting when we read the 4 Gospels that the writers of each gospel don't give that much attention to Christmas. For their eyes are not on the crib but looking somewhere else.

So before I tell you where their focus was lets take a brief look at the Nativity events from Scripture………

The birth of Jesus is covered in only 2 out of the 4 gospels? Of the four writers only Matthew and Luke cover the events.

In Matthew’s Gospel there are 28 chapters covering 1071 verses and the birth of Jesus covers just 6 verses.

Luke’s Gospel - Unwraps more of the nativity events which we are familiar with, such as the angelic hosts and shepherds but it is still very short compared to the rest of his gospel.

Mark’s Gospel doesn't mention the Jesus’ birth. Instead he opens with these great words

“The beginning of the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God..,” (Mark 1:1)

And then the great opener from John’s Gospel -

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made, without him nothing was made….”

Mark and John highlight the divinity of Jesus from before the beginning. All four writers were not looking to the crib but to the skies. Did you know one of the most dominating themes in the New Testament is Jesus Second Advent which is alluded to more than 300 times?

We rejoice at Christmas, singing our wonderful carols, tucking into turkey and mince pies, spending more than we should and getting misty eyed gazing into the crib but remember the Christians were also looking up to the clouds awaiting the promised Second Advent.

My question for us to ponder this Advent and Christmas is this, “Is Jesus still a baby lying in a manger or is he the risen Saviour who promised to return?” If our eyes are looking towards the Second Advent, we could have an amazing season of Epiphany!

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

God bless you.

Rev. Ken

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