Just Christmas

The coming of Jesus is a moment in history that brought revolution to everything humanity had known. It brought revolution to our hearts, revolution to our eternities, revolution to our lives here on earth. Christmas is often a time of excess and of cushioning our experiences, of trying to block out the troubles of the world for even a day. The joy of Christmas – both the joy of Jesus and the joy of the season itself is a really good thing but this year we want to take time to look at the justice of Christmas, the justice that Jesus came to bring. Our God is a God of justice, deeply moved by pain and suffering, working and moving on behalf of those in need. By looking at the theme of justice this Christmas – on both a global and a personal scale, we believe we will rediscover the joy and the light of Jesus in a new way and receive that invitation to join in with the justice that Jesus came to bring.

1. Just Christmas (Freedom Sunday)

 Isaiah 61:1-2

Alasdair Bennett - 5 Dec 2021

When we consider the incarnation of Jesus, his coming to earth as a baby we rejoice in the miracle of that and the wonder of it. However we know that this God incarnate grew up and when Jesus began his ministry he began by declaring the words of Isaiah 61. This babe in the manger became the man in the Temple courts who showed us how he was the fulfilment of these words. As his followers we get to join in with this declaration, we get to follow Jesus in the way of justice for the poor, the broken-hearted, the captives and prisoners. As we consider the work of IJM and Bethany, how can we be people who embrace God’s heart for a ‘Just Christmas’ this year?

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2. Blue Christmas

 Isaiah 61:2-3

Zak Robb - 12 Dec 2021

Justice at Christmas can feel overwhelming, especially if we find our own lives overwhelming as well. The good news that Jesus brings is that the fullness of our lived experience does not need to be diminished. In his incarnation, Jesus came to bring freedom but he also came to bring comfort, because he knew we would mourn. What does the justice of God look like in the middle of our brokenness and our sadness? What does the justice of God look like when Christmas is not shiny and happy? Perhaps justice in this context is allowing the things that are hard and unfair to be hard and unfair, the truth that Jesus brings to us in this season is that he mourned as we mourn, he carried our burdens and our sorrows (Is. 53), every one of them is fully known to him and he is our Saviour who provides for those who grieve in Zion.

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3. Light at Christmas

 John 1:1-5

Andy Harding - 24 Dec 2021

This is the amazing truth that we celebrate at Christmas, that Light has come and it has not left us. We are those who live in the light of Jesus and that light is an overcoming light against which the darkness of the world around us cannot and will not prevail. As we desire to be those who seek to have a more ‘Just Christmas’, let us remember this great and wonderful truth – Jesus is the light we need, he is shining into the darkest of places and darkness, pain, suffering and injustice will not win. Light has come!

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