‘But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it…’ 2 Timothy 3.14
It can be very easy to assume that Christmas is over now: the decorations and the mood may continue, but the actual story has been heard. Paul’s words to Timothy have a real relevance for us – ‘continue in what you have learned’.
The message of Christmas is not for one day only; it has a relevance for every day. Out of his love for you and me God sent Jesus, not to judge us but to rescue us. When we are looking at an image of the baby Jesus in a manger it can be easy to focus on this, but when we come back to real life – perhaps looking again at our struggles or sicknesses – then the magical bits of Christmas can seem to fade away and we are faced with the harsher realities of life. This is why Paul encourages Timothy to continue in his faith.
There are always times in our lives when we experience ‘highs’; things seem to go well and we experience a closeness to Jesus. In these times it is easy to continue in what we have learned. Sadly there are also times when things are not so good. God may not seem so close and things do not seem to be working out quite as well. It is in these times that our tenacity and faith really are called to the fore, and I suspect that it is when we are holding on to Jesus through gritted teeth that we move him so much.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission