Not sure I have time to post everything I'm saying over the next, mad 48 hours: but here's this evening's reflection:
It’s been a hectic few weeks, hasn’t it: and I’m sure I’ve complained as loudly as anyone - so much to do, so much to plan and think about, constant lists.. and then the snow to make everything that bit more difficult!
And then the blessed Angels sing ‘Peace on earth’ – and we wonder how to even get a moment’s peace, let alone how to pray for peace for our mad world.
I’ve got an uncle who is forever sending me emails of jokes & little quotes & things. This was one of his better ones: a wonderful quote from a 7 year old named Bobby: "Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
It’s really tempting to spend a few minutes giving you a talk that goes ‘never mind all the presents & cards & decorations & stuff’ the REAL meaning of Christmas is this – the birth of Jesus. ..
..so create a space to stop and think and pray and then you’ll know the real meaning of Christmas.
But the real meaning of Christmas is that God became human, that God takes all the human stuff seriously. God shows us that all of our lives are important – not only spiritual, heavenly airy-fairy bits. God being born in Jesus means that God is earthy, grounded - real. The phrase ‘The little Lord Jesus no crying he makes’ is not a clue to the unearthly nature of Jesus – it’s just the romantic imaginings of a Victorian hymn-writer. There would have been crying, and not just from Jesus – but I’m sure from Mary & Joseph too!
The real meaning of Christmas is that it is all real – that God comes to us in all the ordinary stuff of life – crying babies, overbooked inns, cold shepherds, so-called ‘wise’ men who are lost & won’t ask for directions.
God comes to all of us & all of this world in all of our mess and frenzy. God comes to us – in Jesus.
So whether this Christmas you are ready or not – whether you are happy, lonely, filled with regrets, fearful, angry, or just a bit jaded, listen to the angels’ song ‘peace on earth, goodwill to all people’.
And know that God is with us in all of our Christmases.
Every ordinary place & ordinary person can become part of God’s heaven & filled with God’s love.
So may we be blessed by God’s love and know real peace this night & always. Amen