A Cradle Fit for Royalty

Luke 2:15-16 –And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.

Ive often heard of women not making it in time to a hospital. Even a well-prepared home birth can be messed up if the expecting mother is caught across town in the supermarket. Taxi births are common, so are babies born in elevators. But what would be more degrading for a mother in the modern world than to give birth in a tiny barn full of smelly animals?

Its true that the birth itself is often quickly forgotten when the joy of holding your newborn baby in your arms follows. Your baby is the most beautiful princess, or little prince, you have ever laid eyes on. Its then time to show your precious new family member the nursery that you have so lovingly put together during the months of waiting. The cradle that took you forever to choose, and dont forget the bunny rugs.

But wait a moment! I dont remember reading that part in the Christmas story. The shepherds found the baby lying in a manger. A manger is kept in stable. Its used as the feeding trough for donkeys and milking cows! There would probably even be hens and a goat or two sharing the small space around the manger. Here is where the King of the Jews was sleeping. And, sitting close by with watchful eyes, were Mary and Joseph; a humble pair who had travelled many miles to find no room in the inn.

This cradlewasmade for royalty. Jesus was born in a manger because Hewas, andis, andwill always be Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

This same Jesus was found by the shepherds wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a mangera cradle made for royalty.

Father, thank you for sending your son to earth. Help me never to forget the wonder of that first Christmas morning when the King of Kings came as a humble babywho was given by you to be called Jesus our Saviour. Amen

穢 Chrissy Siggee

Scripture Verses used are from the King James Version of the Bible

Shine – Like the Christmas Star

Matthew 5:16 –In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (NIV)

Christmas is approaching fast and stores are filled with decorations and gifts for all ages. Christmas trees, real and fake, dazzle us with lights and baubles. Lets face it; it gives us all a feeling of excitement that Christmas is just around the corner.

Celebrations of the birth of Christ may vary from family to family, from church to church and from tradition to tradition. In reality it doesnt matter how we celebrate as long as the true message of Christmas is our main focus.

As a child, my favorite Christmas decoration was the Christmas Star. We placed the star on the top of our tree year after year. One Christmas, we visited cousins who used a fairy. A star was nowhere to be seen. As a nine year old at that time I could not comprehend how a fairy could replace the precious tree-topper. Later in life when I had my own family the idea of a fairy tree-topper never entered my mind. Our own children were brought up knowing the true meaning of Christmas: The birth of Jesus. The brightness of that Christmas Star reflected the announcement of royalty birth, Jesusthe light of the world and guided the shepherds and the wise men to Jesus.

In the same way, our hearts need to reflect the love of Jesus who resides in us. Our lives need to reveal the light that burns just like the Christmas Star. We can let our light so shine before menand our families who dont always see eye-to-eye of what Christmas is about. Live as Jesus would live. Speak as Jesus would speak; with love in our hearts that shine like the Christmas Star that can lead others to

Lets show love and grace to those who see things differently to us this Christmas. Let your light shine so we glorify your Father, which is in heaven.

Father, let our light shine from within that we may lead others to Jesus and the true message of Christmas be seen by your love within us. Amen

穢 Chrissy Siggee

Jesus, Hope To the World

Psalm 72:12-13 –For he will deliver the needy who cry out,the afflicted who have no one to help.He will take pity on the weak and the needyand save the needy from death. (NIV)

Colossians 1:27 –To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (NIV)

Its sad to think that for many people Christmas means nothing more than parties, decorations, holidays and time off work. I see more to it this time of year; its a blessed reminder of the birth of Jesus Christ. My hope is founded in this baby; a baby that was born to save mankind. My hope in him is real.

In reality though, its difficult for many people to find hope. We live in a misplaced world of social injustice, crime, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, disease, pain and loneliness. Jesus means hope to all mankind, but we have to grasp the promises of God and take them to the world whether it be across the road or a across the ocean.

When you find Jesus, you find hope, and theres no false hope Jesus. Its not a fanciful fairy tale wishing for a happy ending. We as Christians need to spread hope; not just by preaching The Word but by doingThe Word. Millions of people do not even know Christmas is just around the corner, or what the fuss is about. Many people dont know where their next meal will come from, and wouldnt know what turkey and Christmas pudding is. They dont see any hope. They see nothing but despair…

As Christians, we are supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus. As His hands and feet we are to serve Him by serving others. Christmas is a renewal of hope. It reconfirms for us the revelation that Jesus is the reason for this season. It was settled long ago, so we don’t have to doubt. Jesus is the fulfilment of our hope; our deepest longings come true.

Lord, Let your hope and joy radiate through us. Help us to embrace the hope we have in you and share it with those less fortunate than ourselves, whether it be spiritually, emotionally or by using our hands and feet for your glory. Amen.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

Shepherds

Luke 2:8-20 says:And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

At the time of Jesus birth, people who attended sheep were considered one of the least significant of the human race by other people. They lived quiet and humble lives, often spending their days and nights with their flocks. The sheep that they tended were probably bred as sacrifice animals for the temple in near-by Jerusalem. These shepherds were just doing their usual job when the angels appeared before them. I think I would be shaking in my sandals too. The news the angel gave the shepherds would have surprised them too. Babies would have been plentiful during the census and specific descriptions were to help the shepherds find Jesus among the crowded town.

When they went down into Bethlehem they found Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. They worshipped the newborn king before returning to their flocks glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen. It had been just as the angel had told them.

I can imagine the shepherds telling their friends and families for weeks after the event. This incident would have made a significant change in their tedious lives. History tells how shepherds became accepted and probably even admired by many.

Jesus refers to himself as the good Shepherd

John 10:11 – I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 10:14 –I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

The next time you sing the Christmas carol While Shepherds watched Their Flocks by Night take notice of the words and remember their significant place in the Christmas Story.

Father, thank you for sending your son to earth as a small baby. Thank you that lowly shepherds were among the first to greet Jesus and for the remindered of the significance ofthe birth. We praise you, just as the angels and shepherds did on that night so long ago. Amen.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

Scripture Verses used are from the King James Version of the Bible

Fifteen Tarnished Christmas Bells

David took a deep breath. The musty smells of the old town hall made his nose itch. This place no longer reminded him of community gatherings, nativity plays or combined Easter services. An old plastic Christmas tree leaned against the wall; bent over and covered in cobwebs. He pushed aside the sagging stage curtain and touched one of the fifteen tarnished Christmas bells which hung in a neat row. He closed his eyes and tried to recall the familiar sounds. All he heard was the squeak of the front door.

Mrs Jessop, good to see you. Whats it been…?

Twelve months, she groaned. The old woman placed her scarf and handbag on a nearby table. Where is everyone? I want to be home early tonight.

Well, Teresa married in January and moved to the coast. Donald wont be here you knew his wife died from cancer a few weeks ago?

Yes, I read the funeral notice in the obituaries but I was too busy to go.

David was about to continue when a soprano rendition of Hark the Herald Angels Sing echoed in the empty hall. He turned toward the door and laughed as his star performer approached. The girls chubby face reflected enthusiasm which oozed from her.Meredith, you look um… colourful… as usual. He stepped back and gazed at her peculiar outfit.

Mrs Jessop stood with her hands on her hips. Her head moved slowly from side to side. I hope were not dressing in florescent angel costumes this year to sing Angels in the Realms of Glory.

Meredith giggled. Its been a fabulous year, David. I earned an art scholarship in London. Her eyes sparkled. I have always wanted to work in London. Perhaps this will be my big chance.

The side door swung open and a middle-aged woman entered as she spoke. David, I cant believe its that time of year again. She smiled and offered a hug. John wont be coming. Hes still away at army training.

Mrs Jessop frowned. Well, well. That was a bit inconsiderate of your son, Joan. He could have at least waited until after carolling season before he joined the Army. With another shake of her head she slumped heavily into a chair.

Almost simultaneously, two other choir members burst into the hall through the front and side entries. The commotion rose with reminiscing and laughter which now seem to brighten the dreary hall.

David glanced at his watch and whistled. Okay, everyone, you know the routine. Well have three practices before we start carolling. Lets begin tonight with Merediths choice, Hark the Herald Angels Sing. He paused as the choir members took their places in a curved line, shuffling closer to fill gaps where others had once stood. David cleared his throat. Its sad to think that if we go on like this, within a few years our towns carolling group will no longer exist.

Smiles disappeared and expressions became solemn. Whispers betrayed their thoughts.

Joan, an older woman broke the dismal silence. Oh please, dont say that, David.

David straightened and coughed. Well lets not spoil our practice. Maybe we can have a meeting some time and do some recruiting for next year.

Mrs Jessop made a throaty gruff noise. Oh, but we cant have strangers singing carols with us.

Why not? Merediths face flushed.

Well… because…

David tapped his baton on his music stand. Twelve years ago we began with fifteen carollers. We all knew each other like family and regardless of which church we attended, we visited each other during the year. We shared each others joys and sorrows. He sighed heavily. When was the last time we commenced our annual carolling practice with a party or polished our bells?

Meredith sat on the floor and crossed her legs; her head in her hands. The line dispersed. Joans husband, Rolf, brought a chair over so Joan could sit.

So its come to this? Mrs Jessop sighed.

The hall grew silent. The only sound was the occasional creaking of the rafters and the wood-rotted door rattling with the slightest breeze.

I still want to sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Meredith whispered.

David tapped his baton again. OK, lets sing our best this year. Well polish our bells and let the whole town know that we want carolling to continue. Lets announce the birth of Jesus like we haven’t done before.

A gentle white snow began to fall outside and the words Hark the Herald Angels Sing echoed in the old town hall and throughout their little town.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Mary…the Mother of Jesus

Luke 1:26-28
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

The New Testament begins its account of Mary’s life with the visit of Gabriel the angel who was sent by God as His messenger. The Lord God had selected Mary to be mother of Jesus. The Bible records Mary’s role in key events of the life of Jesus from his virgin birth to his crucifixion.

Christians acknowledge that Mary is “blessed among women” (Luke 1:42) but we do not all agree that Mary is to be venerated. She is considered to be an outstanding example of a life dedicated to God.

Luke 1:38 says And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Mary used the word handmaid which is usually translated as “bond-servant” or “slave”, which refers to someone whose will is consumed by the will of anotherin this case Mary’s will is consumed by God’s. From this I see her attitude being parallel with what John the Baptist said in John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease (KJV) or, Hemust become greater; I must become less. (NIV).

Whichever argument you choose, or doctrine you follow, Mary had to have been one special lady for God to choose her to be the mother of Jesus. She was a handmaiden of the Lord.

This Christmas let us remember that we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ who came to earth as human child. It was Jesus who died for our sake and took our sins upon himself. He is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.

He was born of Marya servant of the Lord.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

Scripture Verses used are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.

Hope in the City

DELIVERED– A Peculiar People Collaboration

Amongst the group of writers I can claim to have written just one chapter but yes, I wrote Chapter four.

320_4654160An immigrant and her young daughter, struggling to reach their dream地 special needs child, searchingfor hope地 newly released ex-con, seeking forgiveness. They have one thing in commontheyre about to be touched by God in a way they never imagined. All through a simple postcard. Brought up in a strict Muslim home in London, Sulafa has recently experienced the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Now, despite fear of discovery and its consequences, she knows she has to spread the good news. In an act of bravery, she sends out postcards with a single message: Let me pray for you. Her simple request impacts lives and brings hope in the midst of hopelessness.

The second of many anticipated books from Peculiar People, Delivered is a collection of short stories that intertwine to deliver a single message. It is the work of twenty-five authors with one united voice, proclaiming the power of God to transform lives and His ability to do the miraculous in the most ordinary of circumstances.

Amongst the group of writers I can claim to have written just one chapter but yes, I wrote Chapter four.

Chapter Four

Hope in the City –by Chrissy Siggee

Seventeen year old Sarah stepped down from the train and looked around. Haunted eyes stared out from a gaunt face. She looked around to gather her bearings. Commuters pushed and shoved their way past, almost causing her to stumble under the heaviness of her backpack. The warped wheels of her worn suitcase flip flopped behind her as she followed the crowd. Shed come to Sydney for a new life. No one here knew of her former years, which she wanted to forget…

from the book: DELIVERED– A Peculiar People Collaboration

Available now from Amazon