I’m very fond of those stable doors that operate as independent lower and upper halves. Great for leaning on the lower part and observing the world passing by, or when you’re outside they give a much closer sense of connection with whatever is happening inside.

We’ve no way of knowing the exact circumstances of Jesus’ birth or whether his family’s lodgings in Bethlehem had a door of any sort, yet the author J John writes that ‘the hinge of history is to be found on the door of a Bethlehem stable’.

Have you ever been out on a dark December afternoon and stumbled into a roomful of family, warmth and light?

EVERYTHING changes because of Christ’s birth. Before his incarnation the Jewish people wore themselves ragged trying and failing to meet the unreachable demands of the law. But then hope arrived – like a shaft of sunlight piercing the cloud cover over Salford.

Before Christ (BC) the Bethlehem stable door was dark, closed, rain-swept and forbidding, but on Christmas morning the door swung inwards (on hinges that become the tipping point of history) to reveal the Anno Domini (AD) side. Where Jesus declares that ‘I have come to GIVE you abundant life,’ and ‘Put down your troubles and I will replace it with peace and rest,’ and that ‘Whoever drinks the water I give will NEVER thirst.’

Over the next three weeks, whenever you walk through dark and rain and enter light and warmth – try to make the connection with what God did on that first Christmas – when he turned on the light of hope in Jesus for all of humankind.

Have a wonderful, joy-filled Advent season,

Yours,

Pastor David