For those in a time zone ahead….Happy Christmas. For those not quite there, it won’t be long – hang on!
One way to spend Christmas Eve is in hospital where I’ve unexpectedly been most of the day, having had a slightly uncomfortable 24hrs centred around my right rear chest area, causing some discomfort in breathing. The X-ray today has indicated the tumour on my lung is just as present as ever. The doctor is concerned that my current discomfort may be caused by resultant clots so has given me some injections to take home – once a day, to be self-injected into my stomach. Fun. I can’t say that one was on my bucket list. He has now also ordered a fresh CT scan for Boxing Day morning to check the actual state of play.
On a more positive note, our son Ben & wife Dabi arrived safely home from Brazil late last week accompanied by Dabi’s father travelling with them for peace of mind and assistance on the journey. The trip involved a two-night stop in Ethiopia, which, if Ben had been well, would have been a worthwhile place to see, but when you’re unwell is not an ideal place to be. Landing eventually at Heathrow, Ben had to be placed in a wheelchair once off the plane. We’re now waiting for a hospital referral to yield an appointment for him so he can undergo a fresh diagnosis and receive appropriate treatment.
Thanks for all your support and the many hundreds of messages of support through the blog over these last two months. As we celebrate Christmas, it often has the habit of reminding me (strangely you might think) of judgement. It’s not one of those popular concepts, but when you think of the tragic shooting of 132 children in Pakistan last week, when you think of the recent ISIS beheadings of children and parents in Iraq, when you think of a tonne of other appalling atrocities, I’m certain we all long for a day of reckoning when those who’ve committed such things will be held to account and made to pay for their crimes. The thing that warms my heart is that there will be such a day, one to which scripture regularly refers – the day when Christ returns and when all that’s wrong will be exposed and justice will be done. But it’s a day which will put the spotlight on all of us – all my wrong, my attitudes and wrong acts, both the things I’ve done and failed to do, on how I’ve worshipped so regularly at the shrine of my own desires and not God’s. I stand guilty. And that’s why Christmas – and then the cross – is so truly beautiful and wonderful, because the One who saves us from judgement – the Saviour – was born. Immanuel, God with us. God who took the rap for me by hanging then in my stead on the cross. God, in Christ, who delivers me from that judgement, through my simple repentance and faith in the saviour to a new life, into eternal life…as the old carol goes, “Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth”. And the choice remains mine and ours. I can take the dangerous Sinatra ‘I Did It My Way’ approach, or I can receive Christ and receive life, knowing that with Him, wonderfully, the best is yet to come.
‘Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God’ John 1
It makes for a very joyful and peaceful Christmas. And God’s joy and peace are realities I’ve known by the bucket load in these last two months for which I’m so grateful.
Happy Christmas everyone!
PS I’ve just injected myself and survived. New things to try at Christmas.