Have you heard our radio adverts on CFM or on Heart? Or maybe you’ve seen our Facebook and Instagram campaign? On this page you can read about why Christmas is such a time of outrageous hope and joy, whatever our circumstances.
Gathered around the wee baby boy, all people are welcome to know heaven’s joy.
From angels to donkeys, from shepherds to kings.
The little Lord Jesus, God’s welcome he brings.
He came to our darkness from heaven above.
He stooped to the crib and the cross out of love.
He shared in our weakness and meekness and mess and still he embraced us, never the less.
If you’re feeling rejected, excluded, a stranger. Remember the one who came down to the manger.
Why was Jesus born?
Search and rescue. We think of walkers stuck on the fells, cold and scared as night draws in, waiting for Mountain Rescue to guide them down to safety. Of helicopters hovering in the night sky, shining their searchlights looking for casualties who must be saved. We think of a collapsed mine, where workers are trapped far beneath the earth. Their oxygen runs low, and the miners crouch in darkness, hoping for salvation.
The Mountain Rescue team will drop everything to rush up the fell. The helicopter will search all night. The miners will not be abandoned. No expense will be spared. These situations are urgent, and when we hear about them, everyone stops and prays and waits.
But the true tragedy is much bigger than these occasional current events. Now, as ever, the world is in a mess. There is so much suffering and darkness and evil. It can feel overwhelming.
It wasn’t meant to be this way. The bible says that God made the world and it was good. There wasn’t any hunger, or disease or hurting. But people began to ignore God, to put their own desires first. Instead of living life centred on their creator, they started living for other things – like money, power and status. Rather than reflect the love of God to each other, we can be selfish, lie, and cheat or steal to get what we want. The bible calls this sin. It taints our relationships with each other, and it wrecks our relationship with God. We desperately need a rescue.
But a searchlight pierces the darkness.
It’s Jesus. God himself on a rescue mission. He stands among us and says, ‘I have come to seek and to save the lost—to find you and to restore you.’
The Christian word gospel means ‘good news’ and that has to be the understatement of the universe! The news is so good, so outrageously wonderful, that the world finds it difficult to believe. Who would imagine a God that stoops to rescue us? Who would imagine a Creator that becomes like one of his creatures in order to save us?
And this good news doesn’t end with Christmas. The baby in the crib grew up and died as a man on a cross. Then God stooped even further – and gave his life in our place. Then bursting through death, he rose again showing us that we can enjoy a life with him forever.
And it only gets better.
Jesus’ rescue mission changes everything. Jesus said, ‘My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life’ (John 10:10).
In other words, his rescue transforms every aspect of our lives. Our purpose. Our relationship. Our identity. One Christian writer said it’s like Jesus says, ‘I have come to help you see all the wonderful possibilities that life can hold for you. I want you to squeeze every single drop of joy out of this life. And if I didn’t come to show you, you would never know how.’
– adapted from Dr David Jeremiah’s book, ‘Why the Nativity?’
You can read the Christmas story in the book of Luke in the bible.
How to be rescued by Jesus
You simply need to ask him. Say sorry for living without him and for doing things your own way. Thank him for coming to rescue you. And ask him to help you live in a way that pleases him.
You may wish to use the prayer below as an example.
I admit that I have tuned from you. I have done many things that don’t please you. I have lived my life for myself. I am sorry, and I ask you to forgive me.
I believe that you entered this world to rescue me. You stooped low, so that I could be raised to life. You did what I could not do for myself. I come to you now and ask you for your gift of forgiveness and new life. Take control of my life; I give it to you. From this day forward, help me to live every day for you and in a way that pleases you.
I love you, Jesus, and I thank you that I will spend all eternity with you.
- Make sure you tell someone about your decision. Find a Christian, maybe someone you know, the vicar, leader or minister at your local church , or you can contact us if you don’t know anyone. It’s important that you get some support and encouragement in this exciting new step!
- Talk to God every day. You don’t have to use big fancy words. There are no right and wrong words. Just be yourself. Thank the Lord daily for your rescue. Pray for others in need. Seek his direction. Pray for Jesus to fill you daily with his Holy Spirit. There is no limit to prayer. You can pray with your eyes closed or open, while sitting or standing, kneeling or lying on your bed, anywhere, anytime.
- Read the bible, some people say the books of Luke or Mark are a good place to start. The bible says that it is the word of God, and that it teaches us so that we can become the people that God created us to be. It’s the book of life, with all the answers we need.
- Find a church so you are connected and supported. If you don’t know which church you would like to go to, contact us and we can make some suggestions based on where in Cumbria you live.