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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

21 January 2015: Duncan Burchell, Petersfield Evangelical Church

The Sequel

It annoys me when watching television that just before the closing titles, they show you what is going to happen next. I prefer to wait and see next time rather than find out now! I suppose they want us to watch again, but if the programme is good enough we will want to watch it.

Last week, we took down the Christmas tree and decorations and put them up in the attic for another year; another Christmas over and a new year to face. You may have seen a nativity play, sung carols or had one of your occasional trips to church for a carol service. You will have heard about the angels, the shepherds and of the Magi with their gifts. But what happened next? Does it all end with the Baby in a manger?

Well that baby grew up to be wise; he was a great teacher, he performed miracles, he taught that he is the Son of God and it ended when he was hung on the cross (that we remember at another of the well-known Christian seasons - Easter). Or did it end there?

No! He rose from the dead on the third day. His death on the cross was the reason why he was born at that first Christmas; it was all part of God's plan. He was without any sin and so was uniquely qualified to suffer punishment and death on behalf of his people. The Bible tells us to ask God for forgiveness for our sins and trust that Jesus has died in our place.

So the Christmas story is an exciting one, but the sequel is even more exciting. You may have put away the decorations for another year, but do not forget the baby who is the true meaning of Christmas.

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