It’s official Christmas is here, and already the ‘Ba Humbug’ in me is coming to the surface! Christmas trees are on display, as neighbours try to outdo each other in their attempt to win the best decorated tree award, the endless annoying tunes of ‘Rudolf the red nose reindeer’ and ‘so here it is merry Christmas everybody’s having fun’ are blasted into our ears at every shop and archade as we grin falsely at all the other Christmas consumers, and then when we go home to escape it all, the children are googling over the latest edition of Smyth’s catalogue deciding what gadget or toy they want. Ba Humbug!
Well it’s for this very reason that I need to remind myself again (because I am a sinner) of what there is to celebrate: ‘But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour…’ Titus 3v4-6. A grumpy and cynical heart needs forgiveness, the grace and mercy of God to change us and transform us. Of course it’s not just at Christmas that we need reminded we need the gospel 365 days of the year.
So here are two great presents you can use throughout the year that you might like to buy for someone else or put it on your Christmas list. The first is a book by Paul Tripp ‘Whiter than Snow – meditations on sin and mercy’. In 52 short meditations Paul takes us through Psalm 51 exploring the darkness of our own hearts and the wonderful grace and redemption in Christ. The second is an album produced by Sovereign Grace ‘The Gathering’ – which contains 15 songs that progressively tell the story of the gospel and our appropriate response to it. It’s a story God’s people have been celebrating together for thousands of years. Jesus Christ died for our sins, rose from the dead, and will come back one day to live forever with those he redeemed.
The book can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Whiter-Than-Snow-Meditations-Mercy/dp/1433502305
The Album can be found here: http://sovereigngracemusic.bandcamp.com/track/there-is-one-reason