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Many people believe that there is something or someone behind our existence. If we are honest, many of us struggle with the idea that we’ve appeared from nothing, or that there is no rhyme or reason to anything, and that when a loved one dies, they are gone for ever. We believe in more – that somehow, somewhere, there is a reason for life and hope after death. Some people believe in luck, in karma, or even the stars. Some believe that nature itself has a life force and others believe that when we die, we will go on to somewhere else. Others believe in a person or being of some kind – a force or god. I wonder what you believe.

In Wales, the word god conjures up many images - from an old man in heaven with a white beard, to an angry dictator who hates people. But the God of the Bible is far from a man-made caricature. He is far closer to us than we think - he is the only true and living God. We can see his glory in the majesty of the mountains and we are aware of his perfect standards when we see injustice. When we call out to him in our difficulties it is because we have a sense of his power and goodness. So many of us are trying to feel our way towards the living God and searching for what only he can give. But can we find him and know him?

We must approach God on his own terms. If we do not, we will just end up with a figment of our own imagination. But when we ask him to show himself and when we humbly call on him, we might be surprised by who we find – as so many were on that first night when God broke into our world in Bethlehem...

The nativity and the life of Jesus is described in historical documents – you can learn more about the accuracy of the story by visiting our website. These accounts describe how the God who created our universe came to rescue a humanity which has turned its back on him. We do not need convincing that there is something wrong with our world – we see it in nature (with earthquakes and viruses), we see it in others (so much crime and injustice) and if we are honest we see it in ourselves. We are never fully satisfied, and we always search for more. Also our consciences tell us when we do wrong. The Bible teaches us that we are in this mess because we have turned our backs on God – our ancestors did it, and we all do it. We live as we want, not as God requires. The Bible teaches that when we die, we will have to face him and be judged for the lives we have lived.

But God has not left us in this mess. He sent his Son to our world. That is what the Christmas story is all about. God’s Son, Jesus, who created this world, became one of us and he did so for a purpose. He came to represent us, living a perfect life as it should be and then dying on the cross to take the punishment we deserve. Three days later he came back to life as proof to all that he is God and that he can offer life to others. One of Jesus’ closest friends (John) came to this conclusion – he wrote “All things were made through him … In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

This is an urgent matter for us all - we all need forgiveness, to be reconciled to God and to be brought back to the light.

You may be searching for something more in life, for something or someone who can satisfy your deepest needs. You may be aware that God is near and calling. It is important that you to look to Jesus. Look beyond the caricature we have of him in Wales. Read about him in the Bible, speak to others who know and love him (maybe the person who gave you this magazine) and more importantly, turn to him. Ask him to forgive the wrongs that you have done and to make himself known to you. He will answer and show himself to you. There is nothing better than knowing the one who made the stars!

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