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SUBSTANCE OVER EXPERIENCE (THE GOOD NEWS OF CHRISTMAS)

A few months ago, I watched an old interview of Jeff Bezos (the founder of Amazon) from 1999. In the interview, he was asked about his business model and values, and one of the points he kept stressing on was the importance of customer experience. Amazon has built a business empire on various key things but underpinned by ensuring a good customer experience.

In the modern church, it appears we have adopted similar values with the flashing lights, the comfy chairs, the fancy buildings, the great worship experience (etc.) however, sometimes we could be in danger of losing the substance over the experience.

Two thousand years ago, on the day that Jesus was born, God chose the substance over the experience. In God’s sovereignty, He allowed the birth of Christ to take place in a stable because there was no place in the inn for them. Rather than a baby court or a Moses basket, Jesus was laid in a manger (an animal’s feeding trough) wrapped in swaddling clothes. The announcement of His birth was to shepherds in the fields, people of low social status, rather than to the kings and princes. Yet in his birth, angels rejoiced and gave glory to God.

As we celebrate Christmas this year, we all know that it will look very different from what we have been used to, but I would encourage you to focus on the substance of Christ and rejoice in the saving knowledge that a Saviour was born.

Let us all read the story again and be captivated by this amazing news of a Saviour that has given us new life and an eternal hope.

Luke 2:4-14, “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and 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 among those with whom he is pleased!”

Stay blessed this Christmas

Chris Eke