A Tale of Two Christmases

A Tale of Two Christmases

Here are a couple of contrasting stories about how people see Christmas. I shared them some time ago but can’t remember where I first came upon them, so peace be upon you if you recognize them as being yours. The first is a sad but all too familiar story in a parody of the words of Luke’s Christmas narrative and the real version which we will be looking at over the next few weeks at Islington.

‘And there were in the same country children keeping watch over their stockings by the fireplace. And, Lo! Santa Claus came upon them, and they were terrified. And Santa said to them: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you great news of great joy which is for all people who can afford them. For to you will be given great feasts of turkey, dressing and pudding; and many presents; and this will be a sign for you, you shall find the presents, wrapped in bright paper, lying under a tree, decorated with tinsel, coloured balls and bells and lights. And suddenly, there will be with you a multitude of relatives and friends, praising you and saying, ‘Thank you so much, it was just what I wanted.’ And it shall come to pass as friends and relatives have gone away into their own homes, the parents shall say to one another, ‘What a mess to clean up! I’m tired, let’s go to bed and pick it up tomorrow. Thank goodness, Christmas only comes once a year.’ And they go with haste to their cold bed and find their desired rest.’

The second story reminds us of the true story of Christmas when God breaks into our lives to give us a gift that is beyond any other. It is a gift we don’t deserve; a gift of grace from God.

“The story is told of Shah Abbis, a Persian monarch who loved his people very much. To know and understand them better, he would mingle with his subjects in various disguises. One day he went as a poor man to the public baths and in a tiny cellar sat beside the fireman who tended the furnace. When it was mealtime the monarch shared his coarse food and talked with his lonely subject as a friend. Again and again he visited and the man grew to love him as a friend. One day the Shah told him who he was, expecting the man to ask him for some gift. But the fireman sat gazing with wonder and love at his ruler, then he spoke at last, “You left your palace and your glory to sit with me in this dark place, to eat of my coarse food, to care whether my heart is glad or sad. You may give rich presents to others, but to me you have given yourself, and it only remains for me to pray that you never withdraw the gift of your friendship.”

This beautiful story reminds us the Christ, whose birth we celebrate this month. He is Jesus, the One who left the glories of heaven in order to share Himself with us [see Philippians 2:1-11]. His gift of love and fellowship will never be withdrawn from us who belong to Him. He chose us to be His brothers and sisters forever. What a privilege! What a gift!


 ‘Christmas comes but once a year,

Then Santa, well he disappears!

But Christ he stays around all year,

In hearts that trust and need not fear,

Because He’s with us, always near.’

 May you have a blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with joy in service for the Saviour.

In His love,

Pastor Frank.


New Visitor?

Click here for more information!

Contact Us

(02) 49 613656
Office Hours: Mon to Fri 10am-4pm
Services: Sunday 9.30am & 6.30pm

Upcoming Events