Good Tidings

Two hundred years ago the first Christian - and the first Christmas - service was held on New Zealand soil. The message preached by Samuel Marsden, remains as true today as it was then:

And the angel said unto them,
Fear not: for, behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people.

"When I had done preaching," said Marsden, "[Ruatara, a local chief] informed them what I had been talking about. In this manner the Gospel has been introduced into New Zealand, and I fervently pray that the glory of it may never depart from its inhabitants, till time shall be no more." (Cited by Keith Newman in Bible and Treaty: Missionaries among the Maori - A new perspective.)

Christmas continues to be celebrated in New Zealand, but not often according to the first service or with the same intent that marked Samuel Marsden's preaching that day. But, whether we like it or not, the story of Christmas is still one of great joy.

Not because of the gifts ...


or the food ...

or the people we are blessed to share it with ...

or even the fact that we have a new puppy to help fill the void left as a result of Kielsie's death ...

but because of the love of the Father who sent His Son - Emmanuel, God With Us - into the world to be our Saviour. Definitely good tidings for all people.


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