I admire people who pre-plan their Christmas shopping, with every gift chosen and purchased before the end of October! This is anathema to me, as I am a last-minute, and at times, a Christmas Eve shopper. This says more about my level of organisation than it does about the value I place on gift-giving, because throughout the year I carefully consider the best gifts for my loved ones and delight in the joy that a specially chosen gift can bring.
God is often said to be a last-minute God, holding back the gift, coming to the rescue or answering prayers at what is perceived to be the last moment of someone’s need. But rather than God answering our prayers at the last minute, I believe he has perfect timing. The Bible tells us that God knows our every need before we even form the words to pray, that he has counted the individual hairs on our heads. His thoughts are bountiful and boundless towards us and he anticipates our needs even before we become aware of them.
God is not grudging, only moving on our behalf after our pleading and petitioning. He is the kind parent who lovingly understands and knows his child completely. He delights in choosing the perfect time, the perfect answer to our prayer and the perfect gift, carefully selected in anticipation of the wonder it will bring. He is not stingy or withholding good from his children in order to teach them some lesson. He anticipates and already has the plan in place for delivery—at the perfect time, in the perfect circumstances.
Will you trust him this Christmas? Will you come before him with your needs, desires and fears and know that the Father-heart of God will respond as a loving and trustworthy parent? Will you believe that God has already anticipated your needs?
Trust him to answer your prayer in his wisdom, his timing and you will be amazed at the wonderful unwrapping of a gift that will delight your heart. Let your attitude be like a child who has waited for Christmas Day in anticipation of unwrapping the gift. You will not be disappointed.
Vivienne Hill, Editor
The magazine can be viewed either as an online magazine on Issuu, or the bulk of the articles, news, and shorter reflections (Grace Notes) have been added into their various sections.
I welcome your feedback and suggestions, and also your photos, letters, crafts and stories. Please email: [email protected]
It Takes a Village—and Kai: Wi Pirihi has worked at Whangārei Corps for 10 years and has a passion for engaging with students in schools across the city.
Celebrating Christmas in Fiji: Young people from Fiji corps share the unique way they celebrate Christmas with their families.
Mary had a Little Lamb: Mary giving birth to Jesus collides with a greater story of a prophesied Messiah in the Old Testament.
Corps Connect at Christmas: Blenheim, Miramar and Linwood Corps and Newtown Centre share what they will be doing for Christmas in their corps this year.
Service, Support and Advocacy: Mike Gibbs shares how he has served in Linwood Corps and in his community for 15 years, being on school boards and assisting during the Christchurch earthquakes.
Emmanuel: God with us: A Christmas Message from the Territorial Leaders
Adopting Families this Christmas
War Cry in History
Book: The Impossible Promise: A Christmas Story
Entertainment: The Chosen: Season 3
Music: this is our Christmas album