Isaiah 9: 2-7, Luke 2: 1-14
I don’t know if you caught the news story about 10 days ago that a pub landlord in the Wiltshire village of Shrewton had gone off to France with the contents of his customers’ Christmas saving scheme – a total of about £30,000.
The part that made me saddest was an interview with one of the people affected who said “We had £800 saved – and without that money there’ll be no Christmas for us”.
The good news is that the village rallied round and made money available to people for presents and food.
But how sad it was for the man who thought that Christmas would not come without the money?
Of course we all like to have special food and drink and of course it’s lovely to see the faces of your loved ones light up when they open a present they really like – but Christmas will come – whether we spend our money or not.
Christmas will come because the clock will tick around and we’ll cross the days off the calendar and soon (very soon!) it will be December 25th and whatever our level of income and whatever our state of mind, and whether other people have cherished us or exploited us, we will remember the birth of Christ.
The light will shine even in the lands of deep darkness, promises Isaiah. Where the boots of warriors have marched, a child will be born who will reveal God’s rule and God’s authority.
The light will shine in the lives of a young couple who haven’t even got a room for the night, who have been made homeless by the decree of government.
The light will shine on the hills where there is work to be done, sheep to be looked after. Where nothing ever happens, suddenly the sky is filled with the song of angels.
The light of God’s love shown in Jesus will shine on the rich and on the poor. The light will shine when we are surrounded by stuff and when we have nothing but the need to know we are not alone.
Christmas is so much simpler and yet richer than all the fun and festivities with which we surround it.
God loves us enough to come and share our lives – then in Bethlehem, now in Whittlesford.
Hear the angels sing the glorious truth – there can be peace and goodwill for all people – God’s love for everyone alive.
Christmas is here. God has entered our human world – and he will never leave us on our own.
Thanks be to God. Amen