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  • Catherine Dalziel

Christmas Gifts (21-12-2021)

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.


Thought

Today is the Winter Solstice and is often referred to as the shortest day of the year. Today we will have very few hours of daylight as the sun rises later and sets earlier than on any other day of the year. There will be many more hours of darkness. Tomorrow however will be a better day as we begin our journey towards the Summer Solstice next June.


It is no surprise that many religions have festivals about light at this time of year. We all have a need to escape living in darkness, which many of us do by putting up lights or lighting candles.


Christmas Day is only a few days away now so I’m hoping that all my presents are sorted out; if they are not quite all wrapped, I am hoping that they will be purchased and will have arrived at the house. The advent calendar has most of its doors open and the chocolates behind them have been enjoyed. There is a real feeling of anticipation in the air.


Gifts come in all different forms. Some are purchased in shops or online. Some are homemade. Some gifts are very personal, while others are made for sharing. Some gifts are not objects at all. A couple of weeks ago some of the members of the Salvation Army Band in Lincoln came and played Christmas carols outside my parents’ home. It was a gift from them to my parents. What they gave was their time and their expertise as they played, in the rain, for us. The gift may have been for us in our house, but several of the neighbours came out to listen and to share in the gift.


At the beginning of John’s gospel, John tries to put into words the importance of what happened at the first Christmas. He tells us that Jesus is the true light who came into our world to enlighten us all. He was given as a gift to each one of us and for those of us who accept this gift, who believe in Jesus, we have become children of God.


As we see many lights around us this Christmastime and as we give and receive gifts, let us remember the amazing gift from God when he sent the light of the world to us and may we graciously and gratefully accept the gift that is so freely given.


Prayer (David Adam)

I open the stable door,

I kneel before the infant.

I worship with the shepherds.

I adore the Christ child.

I ponder the Word made flesh.

I absorb the love of God.

I sing Glory with the angels.

I offer my gift with the Magi.

I have come from lands afar.

I receive the living Lord.

I hold him in my hands.

I go on my way rejoicing.

Glorifying and praising God.

Amen


Song: Light of the World lyric video - YouTube



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