Skip to main content

Christmas: Always Scrooge and Never Kirstie?

I love our church. I love the opportunity to be with God's people who are our family, and when we gather (and when we're scattered) to find ways to serve one another in drawing near to Christ. It was my privilege to serve our church by preaching.
My text was Genesis 3:15 asking What's Christmas About? You can listen here:  
Download mp3 - "Always Scrooge and Never Kirstie" (30mins) (low quality recording taken on my phone on the lectern behind me - hopefuly the church website will have a better version soon)

I attempted to dig into some of the common views of Christmas, where there is much to affirm and console, and also to explore how those resonate and point towards the hope of The Promised Son.
  • Beginning with Scrooge's misery - which is both justified and overly morbid, we see there really is war and evil in the world, and yet we long for hope of victory - why is that?
  • Considering the festivities offered by a Kirstie's Handmade Christmas we saw that it's good to have a holiday, but you need 'salvation' to celebrate truly... which is what's wrong in Narnia where it is Always Winter and Never Christmas, until finally it is 'Winter Passed and Guilt Forgiven' (as Lewis' poem summarises)... you need something to happen to make that possible.
  • And we considered the nitpicking leery vision of Santa, everything that the Triune God isn't... and so that leads us to look for the Christ... one who can overcome evil and give us cause to celebrate - truly, without it depending on whether we've been naughty or nice.
We need the promised son who will both suffer with and for us, and win for us and come to us. When God shows up he's not aloof and clean and making 3pm speeches... he's naked and weak and vulnerable and in the line of fire. He suffers with us, and for us. God is a victim. And God wins - slays the giant, puts a tentpeg through the head of the enemy, takes the sting out of death. He wins and begins a whole new human race who aren't condemned to the curse of Scrooge, Kirstie or Santa but live in his blessing with his Holy Spirit.

Christmas invites you to ask is the baby whose birth we're remembering the long promised Christ? Is this Jesus that Christ?
Download mp3 - "Always Scrooge and Never Kirstie" (30mins) 

I preached without notes but I had this outline in my back pocket in case I bottled it. Many thanks to Glen Scrivener who helped my thinking a lot as I prepared. And huge thanks to my pastor for his detailed encouragement this afternoon.
More on the imagination of Lewis in Michael Ward's Planet Narnia


  1. love love love it.
    god rest ye merry bishes
    let nothing you dismay

  2. Great angle on the season Dave - very fresh. May well use elements this Sunday. But terrible recording, were you preaching in a bucket?

  3. Yeah, its the recording from my phone on the lectern a couple of metres behind me in a large room.. and I've improved it from the raw recording!!

    The church website should have a better version eventually but its a bit behind at the moment.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…