The Christmas TV adverts always intrigue me. The one that caught my attention this year was produced by Sainsbury’s and the Royal British Legion commemorating the Christmas truce that took place during the First World War. Guns fell silent, and soldiers from both armies met in no-man’s land. They exchanged gifts, shared food and even played football together. The title of the ad is ‘Christmas is for sharing’.
Some years ago another Christmas advert asked various celebrities to ‘describe Christmas in three words.’ Various options were given including: ‘Eating too much’, ‘Morecombe and Wise’ and ‘The Queen’s Speech’, before the inevitable finale: ‘Marks and Spencer’.
But what about the words, ‘Christ is born’? They didn’t seem to fit into the advert and I wonder if they really fit into many peoples idea of Christmas?
If I were to describe Christmas in just three words it would be ‘Immanuel’.
Now in case you think I’ve lost my marbles and that ‘Immanuel’ is just one word notice what it says in Matthew’s gospel: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). [Matthew 1:23 NIV].
These are the vital three words of Christmas, showing that in the birth of Jesus, God Himself has come to us. By taking on flesh and dwelling with us God has shared himself with us and has shared in our humanity. They tell us that God is not a distant God; He loves us and has drawn near to us in the person of His Son.
‘God is with us’ - Now that would be an advert to watch.
|Barry Robinson |
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