The fact that Jesus is a real historical figure whose influence changed world history is undisputed; however he was so much more than that!
At Christmas we celebrate that God chose to send his Son Jesus Christ, through whom all things had been made, to be born in humble surroundings in order to rescue a world in a mess and in need of a saviour. Before Jesus, prophets had come and gone bringing God’s message and urging people to turn to God but Jesus came to do much more than that. He made it possible for us to be made right with God through taking the punishment for all of our wrongs once for all, though his death and resurrection. Then when He left this world after His resurrection He enabled His followers to carry on the mission by living inside them by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As police officers and support staff we don’t need persuading that the world is still in a mess. Daily we deal with anything from neighbour disputes and domestic abuse, alcohol and drug fuelled violence or acquisitive crime through to organised crime and terrorism. The tragic news this week of the Peshwar massacre where 132 children were slaughtered is a stark reminder of how bad things are worldwide.
However as Christians we can look at our workplace, our beat and the world with a sense of optimism. Why? Because we have a message that will transform our own lives and the lives of others, bringing peace to a world of turmoil. More than that, we actually carry the presence of Jesus wherever we go and we can expect Him to empower us, answer prayer and to speak directly to the hearts of those around us. I am reminded of a friend of mine whose life was transformed by God after 34 years as an alcoholic and those who through Alpha courses and other such initiatives have fresh stories to tell this Christmas of how God turned their lives around and they have come to know God personally.
So this Christmas, like me please be reminded of the awesome privilege we have, to live a life that shows the relevance of God and be prepared to tell others, the reason for the hope that we have.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Steve Miles (Neighbourhoods Sergeant, Battersea)