We recently enjoyed a Family service before Christmas with many of our children taking part – a lovely opportunity to see their excitement for the season, and evidence the dedicated work of our Sunday CE leaders in teaching our young ones about the love of God.

We were also blessed to have Robin Fairbairn from Ballygowan Presbyterian and The Good Book Company share at the service with us, and his message was timely and thought provoking. He talked to us about Christmas crackers – an item brought out once a year that maybe you, like me, tend to pay little attention to. I certainly won’t look at them the same way again!

Inside every cracker there are (normally!) three things. I would imagine that usually after the festive meal is over the crackers and the contents tend to end up in our bins, and be discarded and forgotten about for another year. Yet each of those three items can remind us of very important messages at Christmas time.

There is usually a joke – a reminder to us of the joy and happiness for the season. This is a time of year to feel glad, and rejoice as we enjoy the wondrous story so familiar to us.

There is usually a paper crown – a reminder of a king, and of the humble birth for the King of Glory to come amongst us.

There is usually a gift – now sometimes these can be useful, sometimes not so much. But the gift that we were all given on that first Christmas, a gift that we can all receive and is so precious is something available to us all throughout the year, for all time. The gift God gave us all in sending us His Son wasn’t a gift we deserve, or even could expect, but it has been planned for us for such a long time.

So at this time of year remember :  a Christmas cracker is for Life – not just for Christmas.

Please check out more about Robin’s work here www.thegoodbook.co.uk