Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Celebrating Christmas  
Australian Style

In 1957 Australia issued its first Christmas postage stamp. The image that slipped into millions of letter boxes around the world that year was one of worship and awe as the praying girl knelt in an attitude of reverence. Since then there have been many stamps depicting the Christmas season and the way Australian's celebrate.

One of my favorites is the 1986 collection of stamps which show a kindergarten class preparing to tell the story of Jesus' birth, complete with angels, shepherds and Wise Men. There is something about children telling the Nativity story which never fails to capture the heart of a grown up audience!

As the years have passed and with the shift in cultural mood there has been a spattering of Australian animals and even surfing santas, but overwhelmingly the Christmas stamp images have reflected the real reason for the holidays - the celebration of God sending His son into the world to fulfill ancient prophesies and bring to completion the work of love and sacrifice which the Lord Jesus was to carry out.

The shepherd's on the hillside near Bethlehem knew something amazing was happening as the angels filled the night sky with hosannas. The Wise Men who travelled many miles sought the baby and worshiped Jesus when they found Him. And Mary quietly pondered all that she saw and treasured it in her heart.

This Christmas, will you let the pictures on Christmas cards and stamps pass you by in the business of the season?  Or will you take a moment to consider the wonder of the Lord Jesus' birth,  as God himself came to dwell among us.

Some will sing hallelujahs, others will bow and worship with gifts only they can offer, while others will quietly treasure in their hearts the love of God through His only son Jesus.

If you have found Him, like the Wise Men long ago, you will already know there is no gift better than the Savior. If you are still looking, I pray this Christmas, God's message of love will shine into your heart through the Lord Jesus Christ.