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Monday, 14 December 2009

Double Take!

There was a time - not so very long ago - when certain newspapers would publish two juxtaposed photographs, one of a well-known 'celebrity', and the other of an 'ordinary' person whose physical features were remarkably similar and who might, at first glance, be mistaken for the better-known person.

Two of my personal friends fall into that category. Mark is (apart from having a little less hair on top!) a 'dead ringer' of Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury; while Stuart could esaily be mistaken for politician Ed Milliband, the current U.K. Energy Secretary. Even their voices are not dissimilar as Mark, like the Archbisop is a native of the Principality of Wales, and Stuart is a 'Geordie' (from Newcastle, N.E England), and Ed Milliband, although born in London, seems to have picked up some of the accent from his Doncaster Parliamentary Constituency.

Of course, the opposite is also true - and some day someone is going to think that Dr Rowan Williams is my friend Mark; and that Ed Milliband is my friend Stuart!!

However, what is much more important about both Mark and Stuart is that, as disciples of Jesus, they also exhibit many of His human characteristics. They display kindnes and compassion; they are both full of fun and laughter (yes - Jesus really was like that!); they display great knowledge of the written Word of God; they are very approachable. When I see them, and talk with them, I do see something of the incarnation that we are shortly going to celebrate. I see Jesus in them.

It raises the important question - how much of Jesus do others see in me? It is recorded of former Principal Rainey of New College, Edinburgh, that a child remarked that he must go to heaven every night, because his face shone so during the day. "... we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (Jn.1:14), wrote John of the Lord Jesus. Perhaps the reason why so many reject the Christ of the Cross (while happy to celebrate the birth of the Babe in the manger) is not only that the latter is seen as 'safe', while the former challenges us in our innermost being, but also because He is not sufficiently displayed by those of us who bear His Name!

At this Advent Season, may many do a 'double-take' as they look at us - and wonder if they have just seen Jesus.

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