Christmas Reflection and linked Bible Reading


                              20 Dec 2015                                  


                       a wee reflection on the week ......

                                           Mourinho's position was the subject of
                                              continual scrutiny last season

                                               see BBC website


For how long does The Special One remain special?  Only until results don’t

suit the billionaire owner of Chelsea, Roman Abramovich.  Jose Mourinho is

recognised as (and the success he brought to the London team prove it) to

be one of the greatest managers and was brought back to Chelsea when they

had a poor time without him. Yet suddenly he is a poor one and falls out of favour.


Perhaps he has lost the knack or perhaps his huge salary means he has lost the

hunger or perhaps, as many are saying, he has lost the dressing room.  Whatever

has happened The Special One has fallen out of favour and Abramovich is

searching for a new saviour – at any cost no doubt.  Perhaps he shows that when

money is no object you lose touch with what is important, lose touch with people,

and no longer have faith in the qualities of the Special One.


At Christmas we remember a special one who came among us to lead us a

different way: a way of faith rather than a way of success; a way of serving rather

than getting; a way of loving rather than of bullying; a way of fighting for justice for

all and not just our own benefit. But it seems as though we have tired of him and his

ideas and the world sees a different way that it wants to head. 


If people no longer want Jose to lead them, perhaps too focussed on their own

huge salaries that they have lost their hunger, then there is little he can do and

needs to move on, (although I imagine the financial package he receives will

console him somewhat).  Similarly, if people do not see in Jesus a way they wish

to walk then there is no compulsion.  However, we do need to remember the way

he is leading us and what it is that makes him special.  His mother’s Magnificat

(see the Bible reading below) gives us a clue of what those qualities are.


                                                          Mary gave a Song of Praise (Magnificat)


(To listen to Rutter's version of the Magnificat click here)



                    History of Nativity Plays


a nativity scene at Craigsbank


The first-ever Nativity scene recorded in history was created by St. Francis

of Assisi. St. Francis was concerned that the meaning of Christmas was

becoming lost as most people were more focused with the ritual of gift giving

them they were of the true message of Christmas. Determined to remind people

what Christmas is really about, he set about creating the world’s first known

Nativity scene to help tell his people of The Nativity Story. It was created in a

cave near Greccio, Italy, and involved real people and animals, making it a

living Nativity scene.


Today, nearly 800 years later, we find ourselves echoing St. Francis’s words.

The true message of Christmas is becoming lost; buried underneath layers of

secular traditions. Keeping the Church Nativity play alive is more difficult with

fewer children and less time to prepare, and many schools are dropping it from

the curriculum, though many still keep a version of it alive.


 However, the most important aspect is keeping the story of ‘God with Us!’ alive

in our lives, and not just at Christmas, and to remember that it is a story for adults

too and not just for the bairns.


                                Bible reading   -    Luke 1:39-55

                                            Mary visits Elizabeth


Luke 1:39-55    Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 Soon afterward Mary got ready and hurried off to a town in the hill country

of Judea. 40 She went into Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When

Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby moved within her. Elizabeth was filled

with the Holy Spirit 42 and said in a loud voice, “You are the most blessed of all

women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 Why should this great thing

happen to me, that my Lord's mother comes to visit me? 44 For as soon as I heard

your greeting, the baby within me jumped with gladness. 45 How happy you are to

believe that the Lord's message to you will come true!”


                                        Stained glass window at Craigsbank


Mary's Song of Praise (The Magnificat)

46 Mary said, “My heart praises the Lord;

47     my soul is glad because of God my Saviour,

48     for he has remembered me, his lowly servant!

From now on all people will call me happy,

49     because of the great things the Mighty God has done for me.

His name is holy;

50     from one generation to another

    he shows mercy to those who honour him.

51 He has stretched out his mighty arm

    and scattered the proud with all their plans.

52 He has brought down mighty kings from their thrones,

    and lifted up the lowly.

53 He has filled the hungry with good things,

    and sent the rich away with empty hands.

54 He has kept the promise he made to our ancestors,

    and has come to the help of his servant Israel.

55 He has remembered to show mercy to Abraham

    and to all his descendants forever!”



                                                Mary sits,

                                   the child rocked in her womb

                                       now rocked in her arms.


                                             Joseph stands,

                                         the child given to him

                                        now bounds to his heart.


                                                  We kneel,

                                             the child come to us

                                            now capturing our love.


                                      O God, come to us once more,

                                      bind us to you with cords of love.

                                       Lead us with reins of kindness

                                        and bring us to fullness of life.