Friday, 23 December 2011

:: The greatest gift of all ::

In the beginning was the word
And the word was with God
And the word was God
The word was with God at the beginning
And through him all things were created.
No created thing came into being without him.
Be still and know
In the word was life,
And that life was the light of humankind.
The light shines in the darkness,
And the darkness has never put it out.
Be still and know
He was in the world;
But the world – though it owned its being to him
Did not recognise him.
He came to his own,
And his own people would not receive him,
He gave the right to become children of God,
Not through human desire, but through God alone.
Be still and know
So, the word became flesh;
He came along and was one of us.
And we saw his glory which befits Gods only son
Full of grace and truth.
Be still and know.

I remember when my daughter was little she often didn’t know where to start because she got so many presents at Christmas. I am sure we have also experienced very small children being happier with the cardboard boxes that the toys came in rather than the toys themselves. I find as we get older we tend to get less presents, perhaps just one big gift.
Last year I bought my husband this, it’s a DVD of Bruce Springsteen live in concert at Hyde Park. Actually my daughter and I put it on as soon as he opened it and perhaps got as much if not more pleasure than him watching it. I have always said that seeing Bruce in concert was top on my bucket list. I have loved his music since I was 17 and now the whole family loves him too. So you can understand my delight when a friend at work told me that he was doing a concert in Manchester in June and tickets were going on sale on December 9th. I was determined to go and spent the week that followed in great excitement. We had prepared well, because we knew how quickly the tickets would sell out, I got up at seven and sat by the computer waiting for them to go on sale, finally at 9am the moment arrived and we were there ready! As soon as you click the button that says you want the tickets there is a clock ticking in the corner of the computer screen telling you how much time you have to do the transaction, at 2 minutes past nine we bought the tickets, we went through the countless tasks, filling in our address visa card numbers and then at 8 minutes past nine at the card verification stage the computer froze. By the time we logged onto Pete’s computer at 12 minutes past nine all the tickets had all gone. My husband wanted to try again but I thought all was lost, my dream of seeing Bruce Springsteen dashed - so I had a paddy, but he kept trying and at 18 minutes nine past he got three tickets – we were going - I was overjoyed. So this year I have got the best Christmas present ever – My husband bought me Bruce Springsteen ticket, and I bought him one and we both bought our daughter one between us, so its an amazing present which we can all share, look forward to and enjoy. As a family we were delighted, we are so happy because we know how much these tickets are worth – especially as we nearly lost them, I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to tell my best friend that we had managed to get them.
I know that long after the concert is over we will hold that joy in our hearts and share this story and share the story of the experience of the concert with everyone. So we are very lucky and we have wonderful Christmas presents which will create memories and give us an experience which we will carry in our hearts for the rest of our lives.
But what do we do with those gifts that we don’t like, that we just cant see the value in although we know that the thought is there yet we wonder why on earth someone gave this gift to us? Often we put this gift away in a drawer not knowing what to do with it, it becomes and embarrassment, or maybe we discard it thinking its useless.
Or maybe you are lucky enough to receive something which cost a fortune and is so delicate and so precious that we put it away in a safe place and save it for special occasions? Like the best china or jewellery. There was an email which was doing the rounds some time ago from a man who had lost his wife and as he went through her things he reminisced about them, when he gave them to her and how much she loved them, but the sad thing was that she never got enjoyment from them because she kept them safely tucked away for special occasions. She was too afraid of losing them or damaging them that no occasion seemed special enough and so she missed the opportunity of enjoying them day after day as has her husband had intended when he gave her them.
Or we are like me with my Bruce Springsteen tickets, so delighted so overjoyed that we want to use the gift every day, to show everyone how beautiful it is and how wonderful it is how happy it makes us. Every time we look at it, it gives us joy, a joy that we cant help but share because we are so excited and the joy is so precious.
We have all been given an amazing gift today, even better than the Bruce Springsteen ticket we have been given a gift from God - the light of the world, Jesus. I wonder what you are going to do with that present this Christmas and in the years to come? Gods gift to us is so precious, it is the most wonderful gift that we will ever get in our lives, but lets not hide our Jesus away, lets not just get him out on Sunday or in places where we feel He will be safe and where we wont get broken or hurt. When we accepted this gift we accepted the commission to take this gift out into the world, to share this gift with those people that come into our lives, we mustn’t be afraid of what people may say or how they may react, because Jesus wont break, He wont spoil, He is constant and will be constant all the days of our lives. God didn’t give us this gift to keep safely tucked away, he gave us it to use, and this present will work in our lives so that we find ourselves having more gifts and being able to do things that we never dreamed we would do. This gift should abide with us all the days of our lives and by accepting and carrying this gift in our hearts God can work in us and through us in order to share this gift and bring more and more people to the kingdom.
So although I will look forward to my Bruce Springsteen concert in June, and it’s a wonderful Christmas present the gift from God is the best present I have ever received, I will never tire talking about it, this gift may have taken a long time to accept, but it will never go in the dustbin or be kept safely in the drawer.


  1. Hello you xxxx
    Thank you for your lovely email it is nice to know you are happy and well xxxx
    To me Helen life is a gift and for me this poem by Stanley says it all.............

    "When they ask to see your gods
    your book of prayers
    show them lines
    drawn delicately with veins
    on the underside of a bird’s wing
    tell them you believe
    in giant sycamores mottled
    and stark against a winter sky
    and in nights so frozen
    stars crack open spilling
    streams of molten ice to earth
    and tell them how you drink
    a holy wine of honeysuckle
    on a warm spring day
    and of the softness
    of your mother who never taught you
    death was life’s reward
    but who believed in the earth
    and the sun
    and a million, million light years
    of being"
    Have a wonderful Christmas
    LOve Lynn xxxx

  2. Helen, just to let you know I have found your other blog... and although I haven't got time to read anything now, I shall be back to have a good old read up :) xx

  3. Great post.
    Not exactly sure how I stumbled on your blog, but I did
    Every blessing as you study to become a lay preacher - the pulpit is a fabulous, but humbling place to be.


It is my prayer that my words may be of some comfort or may bless you in some way...I love to hear from you and your journeys...every blessing H