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Finding room at Christmas

December 23, 2014

 And so this is Christmas…

“December will be magic again” sang Kate Bush. Frankly at times it seems that the words should be “December will be manic again”. It truly has been frantic trying to combine working, with the preparations and the celebrations. It’s pretty full on. And as I sit here with a day and a half to go I feel quite tired.

There is so much to Christmas and honestly I love most of it. The gifts, the music, the fun and laughter with family and friends. The food and the drink, the parties. Fantastic. But to me it means nothing if I don’t remember the events in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago when a baby was born to an unknown couple in the middle of the night, in a stable among the animals.

Take that away and it is as if you hold in your hands an empty box beautifully wrapped in the best paper, covered in ribbons and bows, labelled with love and the most beautiful sentiments, but empty. The central meaning is lost.

And for many that is what Christmas will be this year and they will be happy for it to be so.

Sitting in Carol services this year I have been conscious that I am so familiar with the nativity narrative, and the prophecies that came hundreds of years before, but that for some who are not regular church goers does it just all sound very strange? Irrelevant?

What could the birth of a child 2 millennia ago possibly have to do with me? It’s a nice story, but what is it all about? Actually if we look at it, it’s not a nice story. A young girl who becomes pregnant outside of marriage. She is told by an angel that this child is conceived by God. Her fiancé certainly didn’t believe her initially, and my guess is that no one else ever did.

There was the need to travel, required by the occupying Romans. The long journey when heavily pregnant. The no vacancy signs on all the hotels and B&Bs. The king who wanted to kill the child, and indeed killed all the young children he could get his hands on. And then the vicar tells you that the reason this baby was born was that he was going to die on a cross.

A pleasant little story? Not at all. As you look at the events it all suggests that there is something hugely significant going on. Angels and stars in the sky. And then people all over the world even now who claim that this Jesus is their friend and saviour.

This world is a mess and Jesus came to change that. He is the prince of peace. But the world doesn’t seem to have changed. Where is the peace in the Middle East, even in that little town of Bethlehem? Where is the peace in Syria or Ukraine? Where is the peace for those affected by the lorry crash in Glasgow? Where is peace for the homeless and the hurting?

We still need peace. And somehow this baby like no other, is said to offer us peace. Peace between enemies, peace in our own hearts. But above and beyond that peace with God. He comes with a rescue mission. To communicate God’s truth. To shine light into a dark world. And to bring life.

Many did not recognise him. Some who saw the miracles he did and heard the wisdom he spoke, were nonetheless determined to reject him.

But he comes offering life to each one of us. He does not ask us to do anything to earn that life, but he comes and he does it all. He makes it all possible for us to be children of God. And that, whether your Christmas is full of joy and celebration, or painful memories, or struggling to make ends meet, is what Christmas truly offers.

The events of Christmas are just a start. And they could be a start for you too. Many years ago there was no room for a couple and their newborn child. Will you make space for him this Christmas?


From → Christianity

One Comment
  1. Michelle Twin Mum permalink

    It really is heartbreaking to look around and realise that most people have no idea and they are missing out on so much. We have to keep doing what we can and spreading the word. Happy Christmas Ant. Mich x

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