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You glance at your watch. How have thirty minutes gone by? Looking down at the past paper there is nothing there. Okay, maybe a few doodles but you haven’t begun to answer the set questions yet. An hour passes. Then another. Panic starts to set in. How can I even begin to work now? I’ve wasted so much time I may as well quit! No, the exam is in a couple of days, I can’t quit now. But I haven’t done enough enough work today and there is no way I can get it done now.
If you have encountered or been around any Christians this Christmas, then you have probably heard the term ‘nativity’ bandied about. Or if not, then you will have heard what Christians normally mean by ‘nativity’; the birth of Jesus in a stable. In fact, Christians love this time of year because as well as food, presents and pantomimes, it is one of the two times a year when we have free reign to talk about the one person who we want to introduce people to the most: God. The word ‘nativity’ is so central this, to understanding who God is and what he has done, that it is worth a closer look.
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General revelation is one of the images that comes to mind when the call to praise God goes out. Images like that of a star field; millions upon millions of brilliant spots of light representing everything from small clumps of dust burning up in our atmosphere to whole galaxies. Or perhaps the picture that strikes you is of a powerful mountain range. Sharp peaks and luscious valleys, heights covered snowy mantles, depths bridged by softly rolling foothills. A harder image to call forth, in those moments of praise, certainly without words specifically directing us there, is that of God himself. Continue reading
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A path to safety lies before you, a chasm to either side. You could take another path, but inevitably all the others seem to lead down into the chasms. Some easily, some altogether too rapidly for your liking. But all the others do lead down. The way ahead is none too safe either though, if you are honest. One step to the right or to the left and down you go.
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Life by increments. This is how we live. One small moment leads to the next then the next then the next then the next then the next. Cycles of life that once begun seem like they will never end and that perhaps they have always been. Sometimes they are positive, but they are more often destructive. I know this personally, from having dragged myself into so many of them. Somehow I create a dichotomy within myself. I want to be free. I want to imprison myself. I want a saviour. I want nothing of what having a saviour entails.