……’and what have you done?’ As John Lennon sang.

I am in a Muslim country, Dubai, listening to the sound of cranes building yet more expensive, anonymous apartments on a day that has no real significance here. Those apartments will largely be occupied by people who have at least one more expensive home somewhere else in the developed world. Whilst more than one BILLION people don’t have access to clean water or a toilet.

If God truly became man 2,000-odd years ago then was He wasting His time? Two billion people identify themselves as Christian but nowhere near that number are actually disciples of Christ. And five billion believe something different – or nothing at all. What was the point?

The point WAS that God loved us enough to become man, to show us what matters to our Creator, and to die in our place. And the point IS that He still loves us enough to continue patiently waiting for us to acknowledge that we are not the centre of the universe that He created. He is.

This Christmas and New Year are a time that I have set apart to pray, meditate and draw closer to Jesus, my God. And to rest from the hustle and bustle of our work in Uganda that so often gets in the way of my relationship with Him. And to ask myself ‘what have we done?’ The answer to that is probably ‘Not enough’ but we have allowed God to work through us to offer hope, love, education, employment, access to healthcare and sanitation through us at J10:10 and Passion4Africa. And that is good.

But God isn’t remotely interested in the buildings, programmes or plans. He is interested in the people. Jesus was, and is, the most amazing people person that ever lived. He is absolutely MAD about Michelle, the little girl with cerebral palsy that we care for. OBSESSED with the workers in our orchards (and their families) that we employ. CRAZY about the kids in the J10:10 House that we care for. And PERMANENTLY PRESENT with the teachers and students in Kigazi Community Nursery. He is so insanely passionate about them and their lives that He gave up being God-sized to become as small, frail, weak and limited as me and you. So that he didn’t have to say ‘I told you so.’ Instead He can say, gently and kindly, ‘I showed you so.’

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And God’s incarnation on earth for 33 short years two millennia ago has changed, and continues to change absolutely everything for many millions of people. It has changed my life beyond recognition. Eleven years ago I would have woken up drunk on Christmas morning wondering whether I had hurt someone the previous day. Because of Jesus I now wake up sober every day – and instead of worrying about the next deal, woman, drink or possession……..I think about how I can get closer to Him so that He can work more effectively through me in the lives of the people that we are loving and helping in Uganda.

One of my favourite Christmas songs is ‘Mary, did you know?’ There’s a link to it here – www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifCWN5pJGIE

The baby she delivered has now delivered me. Thank you Lord Jesus. Happy Christmas one and all.