Thoughts from our members
Recent Thoughts :
Peace or Pistols?
The City of Liverpool has provided a beautiful Christmas tree to decorate Manger
Square in Bethlehem – a few yards from the spot where Jesus is reputed to have been born.
It is a lovely thought that the Lancashire city can play a small part in the celebrations
which will take place all over that Middle Eastern town over the festive period. Visiting
Bethlehem some years ago was a wonderful experience. The entrance to the Church of the
Nativity is very low to highlight the fact that we must bow as we enter the presence of God.
Then it was guarded by an armed soldier, which was probably very little different to the
time of Jesus when the Romans were in control and would have had regular armed patrols to
ensure peace. I returned to Israel just over a year ago and the trip to Bethlehem was
something of a change. Now the town is surrounded by a huge Berlin-style wall which prevents
anyone entering or leaving without being checked by armed officers. It provides a further
picture of the time when Jesus was born. Joseph and Mary went to the town because the State
had ordered a census – often done to identify those men old enough to be taken into the army.
Time doesn’t change much. But there is still an air of excitement in Bethlehem – it is place in which an enormous, world-shattering event once happened: the birth of Jesus. You don’t have to go to Bethlehem to be part of that event, however. Simply turn to the Gospel of Luke in the Bible and read chapter two. You will be able to sense the great event that brought shepherds into a stable to recognise the baby as a special gift from God. You could also visit a church this Christmas to hear that same story – and, perhaps, take it to heart and ask Jesus Christ to reign in your life. It will make it your best Christmas yet. Do have a happy and peaceful Christmas.