What’s in a gift? - 14 December 2018

Hennie Symington

and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11b (KJV)

It's the end of the year and our hopes for a blissful Christmas are running high. But beware the serpent in the grass. In our minds we all have already started making lists of things we want for Christmas. Some of us regard it as payback time for everything we did for everyone in this past year, while others simply can’t make up their minds what to buy their friends and loved ones.

What did Jesus get for Christmas? Have you ever thought about the significance of the gifts Jesus received on that first Christmas day?

Gold - the sign of kingship. As a king of heaven he deserved to wear a golden crown, but eventually ends up wearing a crown of thorns.

Incense - used during the burning of an offering and shows not only Jesus’ priestly office but could point to the sacrifice He made.

Myrrh - when the myrrh was laid at Jesus’ feet, a shiver probably went through his parents' hearts, because myrrh is used to anoint the dead. Like the others, this gift was also prophetic.

We don’t know what the shepherds brought the baby Jesus except the gift of their presence and their joy at the child lying in the manger.

What do you bring to Jesus? The best gift you can give to Christ is to show what Christ looks like in a world that has forgotten the true meaning of Christmas in the way you celebrate his birth, not only at Christmas but throughout the year.

Prayer: Jesus, Christmas without you is like Christmas dinner with no salt. You are the essential, eternal, wonderful God who became like one of us to show what God is like. Amen.

God like no other god - 13 December 2018

Hennie Symington

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen his glory, the glory that He is the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

In almost all myths throughout the existence of mankind, we read the story of man wanting to be God or like God. It all started with Adam and Eve who couldn’t resist eating the fruit that would give them the knowledge of good and evil. And not long after that man built a tower wanting to see what God was doing in heaven. (Genesis 11:4), Then we read about Nebuchadnezzar who made people worship him. (Daniel 3:5) and today man is so smart he’s written God out of creation altogether.

God turns the tables.Nowhere, however, do we read of a god who became like one of us, except Jesus. He became like us to restore the rupture between heaven and earth. In His coming to earth, heaven not only touched the earth, but the earth reached out to heaven.

The miracle of the incarnation is that it's not a single event limited to time, place, nation or gender. Jesus was born as one of us once so that we could forever have the possibility of becoming new beings. He is born in the hearts of millions of people across the world every single day. God continues his work on earth through the lives of people who believe that the kingdom is near and lies within us.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you did not come to earth just to abandon us again, but that You are born over and again in the hearts of men till your Kingdom come and you will be all in all. Amen

‘n God soos geen ander god - 13 Desember 2018

Hennie Symington

Die Woord het mens geword en onder ons kom woon. Ons het sy heerlikheid gesien, die heerlikheid wat Hy as die enigste Seun van die Vader het, vol genade en waarheid. Johannes 1:14

In feitlik alle mites dwarsdeur die geskiedenis van die mensdom, vind ons verhale van die mens wat homself as ʼn god sien of soos God wil wees. Dit het alles begin by Adam en Eva wat nie die vrug van die kennis van goed en kwaad kon weerstaan nie. Dit was nie lank daarna nie, of die mens bou ‘n toring sodat hy kan sien wat God in die hemel daarbo maak (Genesis 11:4). Later lees ons van Nebukadneser (Daniël 3:5) wat mense opdrag gee om hom en hom alleen te aanbid, en vandag se mense is so slim, dat hulle God heeltemal uit die skeppingsverhaal uitgesluit het.

God verhang die bordjies. Nêrens in die geskiedenis lees ons van 'n god wat soos een van ons geword het nie, behalwe Jesus. Hy het soos een van ons geword sodat Hy die breuk tussen hemel en aarde kon herstel. Met sy koms na die aarde, het die hemel nie slegs die aarde aangeraak nie, maar die aarde self het na die hemel uitgereik.

Die Wonder van Christus se inkarnasie of se menswording is dat dit nie beperk was tot tyd, plek, nasie of geslag nie. Jesus is eenkeer as een van ons gebore sodat elkeen van ons verewig die moontlikheid kon smaak om nuutgebore te kan word. Hy word gebore in die harte van miljoene mense regoor die aardbol, elke enkele dag. God sit sy werk op aarde voort deur lewens van mense wat glo dat die koninkryk naby is en binne in ons is.

Gebed: Here, dankie dat U nie net aarde toe gekom het, net om ons weer alleen te laat nie, maar dat U keer op keer in die harte van mense gebore word tot u Koninkryk kom en U alles in almal sal wees. Amen.

Die betekenis van ʼn geskenk - 14 Desember 2018

Hennie Symington

Daarna het hulle reissakke oopgemaak en vir Hom geskenke uitgehaal: goud, wierook en mirre. Matteus 2:11b

Hier aan die einde van jaar brand ons hoop op ‘n geseënde Kersfees hoog. Maar pasop vir die slang in die gras. In ons gedages het ons al reeds lysis gemaak van alles wat ons vir Kersfees begeer. Sommige van ons beskou dit as “terugbetaling” vir alles wat ons vir almal die afgelope jaar gedoen het, terwyl ander nie hulle gedagtes kan opmaak oor wat om vir hulle geliefdes te gee nie.

Wat het Jesus vir Kersfees gekry? Het jy al ooit gedink aan die betekenis van die geskenke wat Jesus by sy geboorte ontvang het?

Goud – die teken van koningskap. As die koning van die hemel, verdien Hy ‘n goue kroon, maar word later met ‘n doringkroon beloon.

Wierook – word gebruik by die verbranding van ‘n offerande en dui nie net op Jesus se priesterlike amp nie, maar dui ook op die offer wat Hy gemaak het.

Mirre ‒ ‘n swaard het waarskynlik deur sy ouers se harte gegaan toe hulle die geskenke aan Jesus se voete gelê het, aangesien mirre gebruik word om die dooies te balsem. Soos die ander geskenke was hierdie geskenk oor profeties.

Ons weet nie wat die herders aan Jesus se voete gelê het behalwe hulle teenwoordigheid en hulle blydskap oor die kind wat in die krip gelê het nie.

Watter geskenke bring jy aan Jesus? Die heel beste geskenk wat jy aan Christus kan skenk, is om dwarsdeur die jaar, aan die wêreld te wys hoe Christus lyk, aan ‘n mensdom wat die ware betekenis van Kersfees lank reeds langs die pad byster geraak het.

Gebed: Jesus, Kersfees sonder U is soos ‘n kersete sonder smaak. U is die onmisbare, die ewige en die wonderlike God wat soos een van ons geword het om aan ons te toon wie God is. Amen

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