December 19 EssentialChristmas

Racing car drivers and procrastinators want the same drug. It comes from that contradictory cocktail of excitement and terror. Whilst drivers push the physics envelope, procrastinators push the limits of time. As fear of the impending deadline looms, finally adrenaline seeps sweetly into the system.

Let me illustrate. The greatest rush in the world is not the French 24 Hours of Le Mans Endurance Race...it’s the Westfield Christmas Pressie Dash: 27 presents in eight shopping hours. Every year, on Christmas Eve, men who should never have been licensed as fathers take part. And I’m here to tell you it can be done because I’ve done it more than once. But there’s absolutely no room for failure.

You absolutely cannot stop moving throughout the day. And that’s because you cannot – you absolutely cannot - face your children, or brother, or sisters or nieces and nephews or your parents...without a present. Especially your children! You cannot tell them you fell down the escalator...yesterday! That’s not an acceptable explanation!

So, at Christmas, some things are essential. For many families, that means presents. But there’s an ancient reason for giving each other presents at Christmas. It’s in honour of a gift God gave to the whole world a long time ago. It was the gift of God’s own son, Jesus Christ. It is essential to our survival. And now Christmas is that time of year when we remember his arrival, when angels appeared to shepherds on a hillside and told them: “ Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus is the essential part of Christmas. He’s the ‘reason for the season’. His title, ‘Christ’ is right there at the beginning of ‘Christmas’. But although He’s essential, Jesus isn’t always invited. In our distracted, adrenaline-charged world, perhaps you’ve always wondered just how Jesus fits but you’ve put off finding answers.

If that’s you, then don’t put Jesus off any longer. Take the time this Christmas to read the Bible and meet Him. You can do this for free online at lots of places (like biblegateway.com). By typing in Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 you can read a prophecy given nearly 800 years before Jesus came. To read about the Virgin Mary becoming pregnant with Jesus, type in Luke 1:26-38. Then you could read about Jesus’s birth by typing in Luke 2.

It may not get the adrenaline going like a bungee jump does, but it’s genuinely exciting news.

For more information or to see how your church can become involved in displaying the posters, visit Outreach Media at www.outreachmedia.org.au.