If ever you wanted to see two different reactions to Christmas, then come down to the manse. Deb absolutely loves Christmas. I blame Deb’s parents (Mainly her mother) because they really do Christmas. There are decorations everywhere and Christmas visits last well past Christmas day. Me, I’m not so keen. My father died on Christmas Eve and Christmas is never nice when you’re in the ambulance service. Having said that, Deb is winning me over and I am now a lot more enthusiastic about Christmas than I used to be.
Our different point of views are reminder for me about why Christmas is so important to those of us who claim to be followers of Jesus. For me, Christmas was about pain and grief. It echoes the world before Christmas, the world that Jesus was born into. Deb’s experience of Christmas being a time of joy and celebration, carries echoes of the joy of the angels, and believers all over the world, at the birth of Jesus, Emmanuel - God with us.
Jesus was born to bring an end to pain and loss. Both of those are the result of our sin. Thoughts, words and actions that separate us from each other and more importantly God. Jesus came to reunite us with God and each other. And that is the joy of Christmas. We may not see that completely until Jesus comes back, but the promise is there.
Every time we sing a carol or read the account of Jesus’ birth, we are reminding ourselves that God has come to us. Rather than leaving us to live in the darkness of death and loss, Jesus comes to bring us into the light of love, joy and peace.
My prayer is that this Christmas, no one needs to feel alone. Many folk we know will be grieving, and if we truly call ourselves Christians, we need to be demonstrating the love of God by finding those who will be struggling with Christmas. So if you know someone will be alone on Christmas day invite them to church and our Christmas lunch. If you know someone will be grieving, give them a hug and remind them they are not alone. Show people that God loves them and that way everyone will get to experience a little bit of the joy of Christmas.
Love and light
Ray and Deb
Some upcoming events
3rd Dec 10:30am – Advent Service
3rd Dec 6:00pm – Celtic Taize Service
17th Dec 10:30am – All Age Carol Service
17th Dec 6:00pm – Lessons and Carols
24th Dec 6:00pm – Christingle Service
25th Dec 10:00 – Christmas Day Service at St Andrew’s Liversedge
25th Dec 12:00 – Christmas Lunch at St Andrew’s