December 2018: From the Minister’s Christmas album (Don’t worry I am not going to sing)
One of the bedrooms has a built in cupboard which is mainly filled with toys and games. It was cleared out a few weeks ago and photograph albums surfaced that we hadn’t seen for a while. Holidays, family snaps and of course Christmas. It made for a pleasant evening looking through them in front of the fire. Christmas seemed welcome as it rolled in to view.
Of course the picture belies the time the children brought the Christmas Tree crashing down; the dog ate a chocolate rabbit (and survived); or the time the advent crown caught fire. On occasions Christmas is better in hindsight. It all looked wonderful in the albums, we are very fortunate and most Christmas’ have been good.
Christmas should have a much better feeling about it than we sometimes engender. People have become very negative and view it as something to endure rather than enjoy. Have our expectations just got out of hand? After all they didn’t throw the kitchen sink at the first performance. Poor travel, no hotel, no invitations and we don’t even know what they put on the table. A simpler time, with the benefits of simple hopes. Well it was no simple hope they held, they were expecting a Messiah. Most people just didn’t know he had arrived. The problem is today people don’t know he has been, gone and will return. Many don’t know what we are talking about.
There is nothing wrong with a few traditions but the birth of our Saviour is worth more celebration, prayer and joy than most find at Christmas. So don’t make it a stress fest, give it meaning. Go and see a nativity; go to a carol service and take your family and friends with you. Invite a neighbour round for the dinner. Read the gospel accounts in Mathew and Luke of Jesus’s birth. And celebrate the love of God shown in Jesus Christ our Lord. And smile
Brian, Sara, Charlotte, Emily and Flora