Carefully I addressed the Christmas card. The name was right, the street and street number were right and the town was definitely right.

Inadvertently, the post-code was wrong. One wrong figure in a four-figure code sent the letter spinning off to another town.

It eventually came back marked ‘address unknown’, a precious message of peace and joy undelivered.

“They could have delivered it,” I remarked aloud, “if they had looked at the whole address.” And I was quite cross.

But codes are a trendy short-cut to a full understanding. Many people look at one tiny detail, fail to read the whole direction and eventually spin off in a wrong direction.

Roadside Mail Box 17,

Post Code 2588

It is fashionable to look for codes in Scripture, too, and one verse can give rise to a whole doctrine or set a trend that sends thousands spinning off in a wrong direction. Paul said it takes all inspired Scripture to teach truth, refute error and direct us in right living, 2nd Timothy 3:14-17, 'Remember that from early childhood you have been familiar with the sacred writings which have power to make you wise and lead you to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All inspired scripture has its use for teaching the trugh and refuting error, or for the reformation of manners and discipline in right living ... '

Paul's advice is guided by what Jesus himself said. He said 'their testimony [the testimony of the scriptures] points to me, yet you refuse to come to me to receive that life,' (John 5:39,40).

Postcodes are only a clue, a small part of the total, so don’t post-code Christ; don’t let the precious message of Christmas get lost by failing to write the whole address. We need the full meaning of Christmas from the scriptures, not just the tinsel and quaint songs.

God does not want Christmas returned to him marked ‘address unknown’.

Elizabeth Price