As a child I remember a plaque in our home which stated "For God so loved the world that He didn't send a committee." That is a humorous thought and yet behind it lies a great truth revealing to us the compassion and mercy of our God.

When disasters occur, such as earthquakes, or tsunamis, governments step in and co-ordinate response, strategy, cleanup, enquiries and many things for the good of all, and future improvement. Within these governments are compassionate and caring individuals, and yet in the overall system, the response shows less feeling. As official speeches are made about how much governments are spending, and appointments made to new departments formed, we acknoledge good is being done, yet it is not personal.

God is personal. He saw the suffering and distress of humanity, and He personally came himself, not only out of compassion and mercy to extend help, but also became one of us. Jesus also experienced life as a human and knows it's frailty. Our God does not turn away from us, but in turning towards us, also became one of us.

The prophet says that Jesus is "Emmanuel, God with us." What can be more personal than that?

It's also a reminder to us of the relational nature of our faith. As much as we need to be organised, and we have institutions that serve and assist with many things, our faith is personal. This is also a key component of the apostolic message that Christ has given us to share with others. It's easy to get caught up in a culture of christian institutionalism, but remember, God didn’t send a committee, He sent Jesus His Son. He came in person, the first apostle and in doing so, shows us the very great mercy of God.

This Christmas, Peace Apostolic Ministries extends to you our love and greetings. We trust that the mercy of Christ is yours this Christmas and that God reveals Himself to you, and through you.