20th December 2021

And so this is Christmas

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace… revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
2 Timothy 1:9-10 (NIV)

John Lennon’s first words in his Christmas song are followed by the question ‘and what have you done?’ That’s a significant question, perhaps a trickier one for those who live as Christians. I must admit it might be tempting for me to look back on a year with a sense of mild regret: that perhaps I haven’t done enough. Do you do this too?

And if so, is it really true?

Looking back two Christmases ago, and a situation my wife and I were plunged into, we opened up our home to a family. Jess came to our house with her children Ailidh and Ruaridh. Through that mayhem, I have various memories of Ails knocking lumps out of a toy xylophone; of many walks in the cold countryside to use up the kids’ energy; of Ru’s boundless capacity to make a mess; and of the big Christmas day dinner that Rachel provided for us all, when Ails’ paper crown kept slipping down over her eyes. It’s difficult to have a big head when you’re only three!

They stayed for eight days. When they left, the whole inside of our house – walls, furniture, everything – seemed to breathe in deeply and exhale in an ‘ahhhh…’ Soon after, it felt that the memories were imprinted on walls, carpets, curtains… and us. Rachel and I retain those happy memories, given to us, I suppose, because we ‘showed up’, made ourselves available, felt compelled to include.

What about you? How different are the world’s past 365 days, from the impact of the ‘Christian you’ who has been ‘saved and called for a holy life’ as Paul states in 2 Timothy? How many decisions and actions has the world received from your Christian belief and compulsion? How many lives has grace touched and altered through you? What have you done?

Might it be an awful lot more than you might consider?

You live, as in the header scripture, ‘because of his own purpose and grace’. The tension of these ‘in between times’ will bring difficulties to your life, and outcomes you might not understand or like. But you are a blessing to this tense world, in the path you walk. If you trip, if you fall, you fall on that Christian path.

You’re doing wonderful little things daily in the name of our Triune God, through the grace ‘…revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’ Amen!

As John Lennon also sang of Christmas: ‘I hope you have fun, the near and the dear ones, the old and the young.’

Heavenly Father, may you help us bring comfort to a tense world and to our fellow humans and your children around us. In your son’s holy and mighty name, Amen.

Study by Andrew Montgomery


About the writer:
Andrew Montgomery is a Deacon in the Edinburgh congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local congregation:
GCI Edinburgh
Gilmerton New Church
Ravenscroft Street
EH17 8QJ

Meeting time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local congregational contact:
Peter Mill
Email: edinburgh@gracecom.church

Word of Life contact: