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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

30th November 2011: Simon Mason, Life Church Petersfield

Meeting Jesus

A newspaper reporter once decided to conduct an experiment. He wanted to find out what people would do in a certain situation. So he asked a world-famous violinist to perform at a large city's railway station during the rush hour one morning, without letting anyone know who he was. Thousands of people rushed by, and just a few stopped to listen. After three quarters of an hour, just a few pennies had been dropped into the virtuoso's open violin case. He then packed up and left.

Two nights earlier, the violinist had performed in the same city's largest concert hall, in front of an audience of hundreds of people, and he had played the same music on the same Stradivarius violin that he later performed with at the railway station. The difference was that people paid large amounts of money to hear him play and they knew who he was. He was being recognised for his greatness, but two days later most people didn't even stop to listen to him, and he went largely unnoticed.

Jesus was not always recognised for who he was, 2000 years ago. Just as people do not expect to find world-famous musicians performing at railway stations, so people in Jesus's day did not expect the Messiah to be born in a stable, or to appear to be physically unremarkable. They thought he might lead them against the Romans, not become the head of a spiritual kingdom.

As we enter the season of Advent, and find Christmas almost upon us, would you recognise Jesus if you met him today? He came to save people from their sins. This wonderful gift of salvation is something that he freely offers you today.

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