Currently, even a brief visit to the shops will leave you with high levels of exposure to promotions, tinsel and, of course, Christmas carols being piped through the store PA systems.
Some carols celebrate a northern hemisphere Christmas with snow, quite foreign from what we experience in Australia. Some focus on the events of Jesus’ birth, while others remind us of Santa and presents. Some carols are hundreds of years old like ‘O Come All Ye Faithful (with lyrics tracing back to the 13th Century) others are quite new. You probably have your favourite and perhaps one you would prefer to never hear again.
I recently heard a more modern carol that has stuck in. It is titled ‘Mary Did You Know?’, here is a version by the acapella group Pentatonix. The song focuses on Mary nursing a newly born Jesus. The lyrics lead us to remember that while we think of Jesus as a baby at Christmas, he entered the world to complete, as a grown man, God’s plan to restore our relationship with Him.
Actually, Mary did know in advance that Jesus was sent to achieve great things. Luke 1:30-33 records when the angel Gabriel tells Mary about her son, yet to be born
Then the angel told her:
Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favour with God.
You will conceive and give birth to a son,
and you will call His name Jesus.
He will be great
and will be called the Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give Him
the throne of His father David.
He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
and His kingdom will have no end.
For Mary, those great things were yet to be revealed. We can read about them in the Bible’s books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
These four gospels all record that Jesus was born and lived a perfect life. He lived amongst people like us who heard him preach and saw him do miraculous things. They also record his public death on a cross, a terrible death, despite being completely innocent. The gospels record that Jesus did not stay dead but rose to life, with many people bearing witness to this.
Jesus’ death and resurrection occurred for a purpose. God’s plan in sending Jesus was to provide a way to save us from his judgement for rejecting Him. Jesus’ death was a perfect way for God to show His love for people and to be just in dealing with the problem of sin.
One of the verses from the carol sums this up so well:
“Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters? Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you”
Knowing that Christmas is just part of a much bigger picture is a great reason for celebration together as a School community.
Not only is the end of the year a time to celebrate a great year of schooling, but it is also a time when we will be farewelling a few staff who are retiring, taking up roles or promotions in new workplaces. Staff we are farewelling are Mrs. Watts and Mrs. Du Plooy from Primary; Mr Ellerman, Mr Hall and Ms Thornthwaite from TAS; Mr Wright from Science; Miss Anvieh from HSIE; Mrs Randall from Languages; Mrs Antakley, Mr and Mrs Patterson, Mrs Allchin (Jnr), Mrs Bezzina and Mr Anvieh who have held support and administrative roles.
I would like to thank each of these staff members for the way they have worked to serve our students and the wider school community. We wish them God’s blessings in the years to come.
As this is the final newsletter for the year, I would like to wish all members of our school community a blessed, safe and refreshing break during the Christmas holidays, looking forward to meeting the new challenges of the 2020 school year together.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)