Following the King

What does Christmas mean to you? Big turkey dinners with all the family, the joy of giving gifts to loved ones, celebrating the birth of our Saviour? For some of the women we have been meeting at Saffires, Christmas has a different feel. They talk of being alone at Christmas, working because they can make significant money at this time of year, or spending hundreds of pounds buying expensive toys and gifts for their young children.

Whilst we can’t address all of these things directly, we have tried this Christmas to show women the love of Christ by inviting some of them to a Christmas meal and distributing Christmas gifts to the venues we visit.

Whilst only one woman came to our Christmas meal, we had a really fun time with lots of laughter and some delicious food. Between courses, we reflected on the year gone and the one ahead and shared about Jesus being the light by which we see hope. We were humbled by the generosity of our guest who brought us each a gift and who told us several times during and after the event how much she enjoyed herself.

I’ve also been watching a TV series called The Crown about the royal family (bear with me…this will become relevant). As I’ve watched the dramatization of the accession and early reign of Queen Elizabeth, I’ve mostly been in awe of the luxury and decadence in which the monarchy live.

The striking comparison between these two lifestyles has become all the stronger as I reflect on the events of the first Christmas. Jesus, the King of kings, left the splendour of a Kingdom in which suffering does not exist and from where He flung stars into space, and came to be born in the feeding place of animals to a life where He would be ridiculed, abandoned and ultimately killed.

This is the King we follow. And we follow Him into dark places where hope is scarce or deferred and tears are plentiful. Into lives of those who have been scarred with abandonment, are resigned to the status quo, hindered by disappointment but sometimes hungry for change – where the fight to survive is so exhausting that the fight to thrive is scarcely considered.

Our King humbled Himself from heights of glory to a manger. How far from our comfort and luxury are we prepared to follow Him?  Will we allow Him to lead us to where His light is needed this Christmas?

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