Christmas 2023 at Jubilee Church Wirral

Join us over the festive season as we gather together to celebrate the birth of Jesus

This transitory life

By Vernon Martin, Worship leader and Life Group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral

Dec 19, 2022

There’s so much happening in all our lives when it comes to this time of year.

 We are often inundated with end-of-year events, wrapping things up before the Christmas break, preparing for family descending on us – or preparing for when we descend on family, Christmas shopping, decorating, and the list goes on and on…. 

Our mum is currently living out the last of her days and weeks at home; we know she won’t see another Christmas, and so it’s a bittersweet time for the family. 

To us, mum is UNsurprisingly peaceful and at ease with what’s ahead.  Her demeanour is a testament to her faith in Him.  She’s hardly had any contact with people from her church in rural Nottinghamshire, has had to travel much of this road alone; and even as her health took a turn for the worst this last year, she continued to quietly trust in her Living Hope.   

It so easily happens that we forget that this time of year is a reminder for us to STOP!  Stop whatever is occupying our time and take a moment to remind ourselves that everything we are so very busy with, is ultimately just transient.  The ‘season’ will pass in a few weeks and it will come around again next year.  What is of worth and what will last long past the festive season has finished, is the truth of Christ – Who He is, Why He came and What He achieved on our behalf.  

Moses wrote a Psalm where he points to this transitory life we all live.  There’s a clue in the Psalm as to what is required for us to live a life of rejoicing and gladness for ALL the days that we have on this earth.  He writes a beautiful phrase, saying: 

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.’ – Psalm 90:14

When we are faced with the difficulties of life, however big or small they are, we have a tendency to look away from Him.  We focus on the problems, and the trials seem unsurmountable in some cases.  There’s a real potential to get overwhelmed.  Panic sets in.  Anxiety befalls.  And our faith suffers.  Even a prayer like ‘Satisfy me with your steadfast love’ is hard to pray because we don’t believe it to be true. Do we not need more than that?  How is it that His love is all that is required to deal with my trial.  How can that be ALL that I need as I live through this difficult time!?

But it is.  There’s a satisfaction to be found in His steadfast love.  And if you have difficulty believing that, won’t you dare pray the same prayer as the dad of the epileptic son in Mark 9? 

The dad confesses his dilemma – he believes that Christ can heal his boy; and in the same breath he says ‘help my unbelief!’  THAT is where the rubber of your faith, hits the cold hard frozen road of life! 

I’m so very glad that Mum will die well when the end comes.  She said yesterday she’s just resting before the party she’ll be joining in heaven one of these days soon.  Life is transient. Life is difficult. It can be full of pain, suffering and death.  But even through all that, His steadfast love has the capacity to SATISFY us. And satisfy us EVERY MORNING.  And it will cause us ‘to rejoice and be glad all our days’.  

Andrew Greenhalgh and Julie Greenhalgh Upton Life Group leaders Jubilee Church Wirral

Vernon Martin with his wife Yvonne