The Heavenly Bridegroom

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David Penner from New Jersey is a happier man this Christmas. Fifteen years ago he lost his wedding ring at Wyckoff’s Christmas Tree Farm, and despite returning to search for it, it couldn’t be found. He thought it was gone forever. Sadly his wife passed away in September this year, and he couldn’t even wear his ring in her memory. Then on 2nd December, and to his great surprise, he heard it had been found, “I thought it was a miracle,” he said. David grabbed his wedding certificate and drove to the farm, where he was reunited with his ring.

David’s experience echoes the real story of Christmas. God, the Creator of us all, wants each one of us to know Him, to enjoy His love and the abundant life He offers. Sadly mankind turned away. We were ‘lost’ to our Creator. Two thousand years ago He came to the Earth He created, and became one of us. As He Himself said, He “came to seek and to save the lost.” One day He will return again, just like David Penner did, to reclaim those who in humility and love recognise their need of Him.

The Ancient Scriptures describe Jesus as the Bridegroom, who will return, not for a wedding ring, but to receive His bride: that is all those who, unsatisfied by what this world can offer, are eagerly awaiting His return. David Penner returned to the farm and took his ring home. In the same way Jesus will take home those who belong to Him.

So Christmas really is a love story, when we remember that first visit and look forward to the next.

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”

Revelation 22:17 (NIVUK)

Yes, you too can share in this love story, you too can be a part of His bride. Are you thirsty for something you can’t quite put your finger on? Do you feel there must be more to life than you’ve found so far? Your Creator is waiting for you – will you follow Him?

Who Are You Talking To?

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Have you ever spoken to royalty without knowing it? Sounds unlikely doesn’t it? Surely you’d know, especially if it was one of the more prominent royals.

Today’s Daily Telegraph reports that Zaqia Crawford, originally from the USA, but currently selling Christmas trees in Battersea Park, south London, served a very special couple last night (Monday 12th Dec): the lady she was serving also happened to be from the USA, but the gentleman, wearing a woolly hat, was British. Zaqia had no idea who they were, but her colleagues, who were busy with another tree at first, eventually realised that Zaqia’s customers were none other than Prince Harry and his girlfriend Meghan Markle. Prince Harry lives about two miles from Battersea Park, across the River Thames at Kensington Palace.

Whatever their spiritual path or religion, many people find themselves talking to God while going about their daily lives. Others only cry out to God in extreme circumstances. Some never talk to God, but admit wanting to have someone to say thank you to, maybe for a beautiful sunset or the birth of a baby. That desire to communicate with someone greater, someone beyond this world seems to be in-built within our human frame.

So, who then are we talking to; whether we treat that spiritual being as a listening ear, a last resort or a complete ‘no-no’? He – although God is neither male nor female – is the eternal Creator of all we see and more. His power is unlimited, yet to Him, we are valuable. He really is that listening ear and far more than a last resort. He is the King of Kings, to whom one day every knee will bow, and yet He cares for you.

Prince Harry didn’t send a servant. Neither did he flaunt his royal status. Instead of a crown, he wore a woolly hat. God did the same that first Christmas. He didn’t send an angel, He came Himself. He didn’t flaunt His divinity; He clothed Himself in a human body, and lived here for over thirty years as one of us. As Paul, a First Century rabbi, wrote:

“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honour and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus the Messiah is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:6-11 (NLT)

The First Post

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Let me introduce you to a friend.

A few days ago, I was speaking to an elderly man, who had come to ask my advice. I was struck by the way he listened. No one has ever listened to me as intently as he was doing; he hung on my every word. He was sincere in seeking an answer to his question, and what was most surprising to me is that he genuinely believed I could have the answer he was looking for. I said what I could, and later a friend of mine spoke to him further, expanding on my limited contribution. But that was not the end of it …

That evening I leant that he was a highly intelligent gentleman, who, before retirement, had held a very important but little known post in the life of our country!

Like me, you may wonder what you have to offer the world. Well, this blog is here because there is someone whose intelligence, importance and power far exceeds that of the elderly gentleman, and who is already listening to you intently. He knows what’s on your heart and in your thoughts, and He loves you. He’s waiting for you to talk to Him and just as importantly, He’s waiting to talk to you.