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For me, I am personally blessed to be adventuring to the Holy Land in January with a group of thirty ACOM students. Under the leadership of Edwina Blair we will be walking where Jesus walked and reflecting on the words of our Saviour.
I am particularly keen to experience two sites: Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Both towns are rich and powerful in their symbolism. The message of Jesus is seen in both the manger in Bethlehem and the cross in Jerusalem. In birth, and in death, God chose the most unlikely, humble and adverse conditions to proclaim, “This is the kind of God I am”. And in doing this he shows us the kind of people we can be.
The imagery of the New Testament is rich with the challenge to live adventurously – but like the manger and the cross, there is little glory to be found for ourselves as God challenges us to live as:
• the sweet smelling aroma of Christ (in a world that smells of death – 2 Corinthians 2:14-17)
• a distinctive light (in a world full of darkness – Matthew 5:14-16)
• a delicious flavour (in a tasteless world – Matthew 5:13)
• a loving community (in a selfish world – John 13:34-35)
For the disciples of Jesus, the greatest adventure is to live a life of service to him. All this is possible only with lives that reflect the humility and sacrifice of the cross and the manger.
As Christmas approaches, may God bless you with opportunities for the greatest adventure: to serve Him with humility and sacrifice.
Dr Stephen Smith
Stephen Smith is the Principal of the Australian College of Ministries – a fresh hope initiative owned by the Churches of Christ in NSW