A work colleague and friend of mine, when if on his way to or from work happened to notice a bird doing what birds do, simply a bit of flying or worm hunting, would shout out the window to â€œgo and get a jobâ€.
He was a very smart and upwardly mobile young man but his jestful harsh words towards our feathered friends showed clearly that although he was â€œin the systemâ€ he could clearly see the clay from the other substance in our world, and if youâ€™ve ever worked for a multi-national company youâ€™ll know there are plenty of both substances.
In one such company an essential part of our day to day operations was the use of a printer and as it would be, ours broke down. So as per instruction I rang the overseas third party that handled such technology who advised me to fill in the appropriate form in triplicate, send one copy to them, one copy to the Australian head office and the third to the American Head office. After explaining the severity of the situation and that I as can actually see an unused printer no further than twenty metres away and my desire to acquire said printer, I was advised that no such unauthorised activity was possible.
So after I moved the printer and restored operations I pondered over my friendâ€™s advices towards those birds hunting for worms whose indifference towards authority and refusal to submit the required forms before acquiring the new found worm made them virtually unemployable.
When I was fourteen my school mate suggested to me that religion was an organisation that hunted on the vulnerable and those with limited mental faculties in order to swindle them of life and possessions. That was a long time ago but if you read the current newspapers you will see that he is clearly not alone in his thinking. And a Pastor once said that as is the way in life, that after shopping at the same butcher, going to the same post office or sitting at the same seats at the football each week, eventually conversations would start, then introductions and after some weeks or months talk of families and then after replying to the question of â€œwhat do you do for a livingâ€ he remarked that he could nearly always sees the cogs turning and the thoughts of â€œbut you seemed quite normalâ€.
As a Christian all this talk of religion, intelligence, being normal and unemployed magpies is a little confusing. Firstly Iâ€™m not sure what religion is, Iâ€™ve never professed to have anything other than the barest amount of useable brain matter. As for being normal, whatever that is, according to one of the lecturers at the seminary whose task it was to see how we tick, apparently Iâ€™m not. And as for the magpies eating worms-I thought that was their job.
You can see why Iâ€™m so confused and that our world technologyâ€™s change so quickly does not help the situation as Iâ€™m still dumfounded by how fax machines work.Â That I can fax someone over there the same thing as I have here is so mystifying that if it was done back in the dark ages I would have been burnt at the stake for being a witch.
A legendary football coach once said to another aspiring coach that â€œwhen you talk to your playerâ€™s, keep it simple and look at them like bricks with earsâ€. In regards to my Christian belief, maybe my friend was right. At times, I certainly feel like one of those bricks and when looking in the mirror I do see I have quite a good set of ears.
So that explains how I got here. But what about these guys:
Albert Einstein who seemed a pretty smart fellow said:
â€œNo one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates.â€
The novelist Robert Louis Stevenson:
â€œWhen Christ came into my life, I came about like a well-handled shipâ€.
Cuban President Fidel Castro, not that a vulnerable man I would suggest mentioned that in his opinion, that he â€œalways considered Christ to be one of the greatest revolutionaries in the history of humanityâ€.
I could go on and on but two of my favourites are from United States Presidents Jimmy Carter and Thomas Jefferson:
â€œWe should live our lives as though Christ was coming this afternoonâ€.
â€œAll the world would be Christian if they were taught the pure Gospel of Christâ€
The pure Gospel of Christ can become confusing in a confused world where all things must be done in triplicate, faxed to third parties and authorised by some remote person on the other side of the world.
God did not look upon us as bricks with ears, he looked upon us as his wonderful creation, as his loved children and so he decided to keep it simple for us, that in faith and trust alone, to know that Jesus died for our sins-we are forgiven and given life.
God did not look upon us, send a third party and stay remote, he sent himself in His Son-to become flesh and blood and come amongst us.
And when we go outside His authority and break the rules, he doesnâ€™t discard us to an unemployment queue, but employs all avenues available to bring us back to himself.
The world and we ourselves will continue to change. Today we are told certain foods are good for us, and no doubt soon enough weâ€™ll be told the opposite. Once if your mobile phone was big you were out dated, but now they have grown in size again and one day fax machines will only be found in museums.
Things, and we change and Iâ€™ll still be confused but thatâ€™s O.K. because there is only one thing that is a constant, that the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are the same today as they were 2,000 years ago on that First Christmas.
God did the unfathomable, by doing it himself and bringing to us the pure Gospel in Jesus Christ his son, His Son the truth-the same truth given to us today as on that First Christmas.
His Son our Saviour who has promised us that:
â€œHeaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass awayâ€.
â€œThis is the will of Him that sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believe in Him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise them up at the last dayâ€
â€œBecause I am with you always, even unto the end of the worldâ€
â€œAnd I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be alsoâ€.
I wish you a safe, joyful and peaceful Christmas and pray that every day that each of us see that small child in the manger, every day we see his healing in our lives, every day we stand at the foot of the cross and see what he has done for us, and every day go forward living our lives in hope and jubilation seeing our resurrected Christ saying to his Father, they are my children, I know each personally and by name, and they are mine. Amen.