The Parish of Burchetts Green

Rev Keith writes about

Celebrating two birthdays


God is mystery?

People often say to me something

along the lines of 'God is mystery,' or

we cannot understand God, and I

never know quite how to respond. In

one sense they are right. God is 'the

other': God is beyond our space-time

box: we cannot 'comprehend' such


But in another sense, and I think the

most important one, we can and do

know what God is like, for as the

writer of the New Testament book

Hebrews tells us: 'In these last days

God has spoken to us by his Son.. .he is

the reflection of God's glory, the exact

imprint of God's very being.' The

unknowable, creative 'Word' became a

human being. As we come to know

Jesus, we come to know God himself.

Christmas: celebrating

Jesus's birth

On Christmas Day,we will celebrate

the birth of Jesus in a stable in Bethle-

hem, some 2000 years ago. That is

good. And in the carol services, the crib

services and at worship around this

time of year, we hear the story of that

first Christmas Day and we celebrate

with each other and with family and


But, this Christmas, I want to

suggest to you that our celebration of

the birthday of Jesus will have little

real meaning unless we are also able to

celebrate another birthday too...our


Two birthdays

The Queen has two birthdays - the

anniversary of her birth (April 21)and

her 'official' birthday on a Saturday in


Similarly, God's will for us is that

we should also have two birthdays -

the day of our physical birth, into our

human family, and the day of our

spiritual birth into God's family. For in

that famous Christmas reading from the

first chapter of John's Gospel it says:

'But to all who received him (Jesus),

who believed in his name, he gave

power to become children of God.'

Membership of Jesus's family

I find it amazing that God is willing to

admit me into his family. In one of his

New Testament letters John says: 'See

what love the Father has given us, that

we should be called children of God;

and that is what we are.'

It is my prayer that this Christmas,

as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we

will also be able to celebrate our own

spiritual birthday - the day when we

were born into the family of God by

faith in Jesus.

May I wish you a happy Christmas

and a wonderful New Year,