Celebrating Christmas (20-12-2022)
Reading (John 1:1-14)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Whilst listening to the radio I try, quite hard, to ignore the adverts, but some of them are repeated so frequently that they seep into my consciousness without me really noticing. Not surprisingly many of the adverts of late have been about Christmas. It all started early in December when we were constantly being told that if we wanted our Christmas to be more magical, we needed to book ourselves on a cruise for the duration of the Christmas holiday. Then it seemed that we needed to buy our friends and relatives pairs of socks made out of bamboo, otherwise it wouldn’t properly be Christmas, and more recently we have been told that it wouldn’t be Christmas without a well-known television and radio guide. Add to this all the food that we are being told we need to have in order to celebrate Christmas Day, it’s no surprise that people can feel overwhelmed by the preparations for Christmas.
Celebrating Christmas is important for Christians as we marvel at God sending his Son as a baby to live on earth. You can’t get more amazing, than God coming to earth in human form, choosing to live among us, choosing to leave heaven because of his love for us. You can’t get more magical than how it must have been for the shepherds who experienced angels praising God. The gifts from the wise men have been remembered for centuries, unlike many pairs of socks, whatever they are made from, and the readings from the old and new testament about the birth of a saviour are more important than any television or radio programme that might be seen or heard over the next few weeks.
So if we want our Christmas to be magical, our gifts to be special and our celebrations to be joyful we don’t need any of the things that the advertisers want us to have, what we need is for the Christ child to be central and for us to allow the incredible love of God to fill us anew.
Lord, help us to keep Christ at the centre of our Christmas.