onethessthree8

'For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord….'

Archive for sin

Three trees at Christmas…

Tis the season to be jolly!  That’s the mood being pressed upon us by the culture at this time of year, and I guess you can look at it in a number of ways.  From a secular standpoint it’s any old excuse for a jolly (alcohol-induced, mind-numbing, drown-your-sorrows-away kinda jolly), especially in depressed economic conditions where finances are not only tight, but uncertain.  This type of ‘jolly’ is characterised by denial and hopelessness.  Charming!

Or there’s the ‘three trees’ perspective:

Tree Number One – In the perfection of Eden there was a tree (of knowledge of good & evil).  ‘Enjoy everything else but don’t touch this tree’ was God’s command.  But Eve was deceived, and ate. There stood Adam, passively watching, abdicating all responsibility, and eventually also partaking.  This tree produced death.

Tree of Knowledge

Tree Number Two – Then there was a tree which, upon face value, looked like death again.  But the life of the God-man who was nailed to this tree was perfect (unlike the first Adam) and pleasing to God.  His death on a tree of His own substituted for ours.  It’s death we deserve, but He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin, to be sin for us that in Him (Jesus), we might become the righteousness of God.  An amazing tree!

Jesus' tree

Tree Number Three – It’s the one in my living room.  Isn’t it weird that we should bring a tree into the house!  Apparently there is some argument about whether it was 16th Century Scandanavian pagans or Christians who first adorned their trees and brought them into their homes.  But I’m not worried about the origins of the tradition (pagan or otherwise), because for me the gifts around the tree always remind me of tree number two where the ultimate gift was given.  Jesus’ gift of life.

Christmas tree

So, is it the season to be jolly?  It certainly is……delighted for the gift of Jesus.

15 years…

Ali and I celebrate (yes, that’s right…celebrate!) 15 years of marriage today.  Easy ride?  Nope.  Hard work?  Yep.  Worth it?  Absolutely!  Why?  Because stuff God designs and ordains is always worth it.

Even in circumstances that result from sin and a fallen world (and our own daft choices), God’s framework for life is awesome and fulfilling.  Check out Isaiah 1:1-20  to get a feel for God’s invitation to you.  It’s not a threat, it’s a promise!

On a day like today I remind myself of the profound mystery of marriage (sometimes very mysterious!) and how Jesus laid his life down for the church as an example to us.  What a model!  Oh dear!  Messed that up a few times…  Thank you Jesus for showing me ‘how’ with your perfect performance, for being patient and forgiving in my mistakes, and for giving me a great wife! 

And this one is for you married (and aspiring) chaps…….things Ali and I attempt to do (at least try to..) in order to keep the fire stoked, courtesy of Word for Today (50 tips for marriage)