“5-4-3-2-1 …” Every week, many years ago, I would race home from school, turn on the TV and wait expectantly to hear the words: “Thunderbirds are Go!”- the beginning of another exciting adventure for the Tracy family and their lifesaving organisation International Rescue, with its marvellous machines. Each week there was new danger, lives were in jeopardy. Could they accomplish their latest rescue mission before it was too late? To make matters worse, behind many of the disasters they faced was an evil, criminal mastermind, with dark, supernatural powers. Called The Hood, he wanted to steal International Rescue’s secrets to make himself rich.
The original ‘Thunderbirds’ was a puppet show created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, but did you know that the celebration of Christmas is based on a real-life rescue mission? The ancient scriptures tell us that the world was created perfect: no wars, no famines, no greed, no sickness, no lies, but mankind soon turned its back on its Creator, and that’s when things began to go wrong. Evil entered the world, and man has suffered ever since.
It broke our Creator’s heart to see the people He’d created hurting one another and wandering around like sheep without a shepherd. So, He himself stepped into history, arriving as a tiny baby in a Jewish village called Bethlehem. He came, not to condemn the world, but to save the world, by pointing the way back to Himself. Offering love, forgiveness and a new start, Jesus brought God’s light into the world, but still people loved the darkness more than the light, because their actions were evil.
Jesus was finally nailed to a wooden cross by Roman soldiers. He died in my place and yours, carrying the weight of our wrongdoing, so we don’t have to. His dead body was sealed in a tomb. But He overcame death, coming back to life again three days later. Today, knowing us better than we know ourselves, He loves us and calls each of us to turn to Him, to receive His forgiveness and His power to live a new life.
His is truly an international rescue mission, but it is also a personal one. God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that everyone who trusts in Him may not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
I wish you a very Happy and Joyful Christmas, and may your 2023 be filled with the hope and peace of Jesus.