God's word in today's world

Our Saviour lives


We’ve come to the end of 2018. What a year! Amidst all that has happened I’m sincerely grateful that we could walk through the Word of God together. It has been a great privilege and I’m so grateful to God for using me, Renata and the rest of the Crossroad team to work in his world.

Our wish is that you and your loved ones will experience a wonderful festive season. May God hold you in his arms and flood you with loads of joy and peace. And may you share it with the people around you!

When we look back over the year, each of us can probably write a book about it, most probably a thriller, especially mine. By July, I had hit the wall. I was exhausted, but, fortunately, the Crossroad Board and other friends intervened and quickly made a few plans to get me going again. I am deeply thankful to them.

I look forward to having a rest and recharging my batteries together with my family in the mountains and at the coast. But more than that: I look forward to again celebrating Jesus’ birth, because He brought hope to mankind again. Our hope started at the crib when Jesus came to live with us. Our hope grew at the cross when Jesus died for our sin. And this hope changed our lives when Jesus rose again and brought life and light forever.

(A quick ad break before our last Crossroad for the year: Johan Laten, who forms part of Crossroad’s ministry Depression 101, will be on Kwêla’s couch on Sunday evening, 16 December at 18h00.)

Every year, Joa from the Northern Cape writes a Christmas letter to family and friends. I couldn’t put it better:

Loved ones,

The year flew by and once again, it is Christmas. And the same ritual repeats itself like so many times before: Commercial choirs singing Christmas songs in the shops, Whiskey on special, calls to contribute to gifts for poor children to make this a special time for them too, and a nation on a buying spree as if the shops will never stock anything again.

Like many times in the past, I become morbid and resistant and don’t know if I’m really looking forward to this.

The imperfection of this state manifests in a cacophony. Not the sound of angel choirs, but of political fights, crime, broken families, car accidents and loneliness.

Then I reread Elizabeth Eybers’ poem, “Maria”, and I know above everything: Yes, a thousand times yes, I want to celebrate Christmas. I’m not concerned with the origin of this festival – my Saviour lives! Even though I wish I could, I cannot give everyone who struggles, who is lonely, and who experiences hardship a better Christmas, but I know: My Saviour lives.

Because if He was not alive, I would never have experienced the love of a wonderful family and loving friends and colleagues like you throughout the year. I would not have received my daily bread together with health, joy and grace. We would never have had the privileges that are given to us so generously. And if we didn’t experience this, in all my doubt and little faith, I would still have known: Our Saviour lives.

Thank you, Joa! It is true! Our Saviour lives! May we see the shadow of the cross leaning against the stable wall in the candle light. May we see that it is empty, because our Saviour lives! In this festive season, may we live in such a way that others can see our living Saviour in us!

Blessings

Gerjo Ben, Renata, Alet-Mari, Mia en Benno

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