Christmas is coming… What do these words mean to you?
Do they send you into a panic because we make ourselves far too busy and we plunge into an endless round of over-indulgence: spending too much, eating and drinking too much so that we have all the trimmings of Christmas without the heart.
Or is this a time of wonder, an opportunity to get together with those you love, to reconnect with those we have lost touch with. A time when we want to see beyond the tinsel and into the essence of this celebration, a time when we want to be filled with hope and goodwill for all.
Some people love all the celebrations– they have never really lost the wonderful child-like innocence of it all – they can’t wait for the decorations to go up, the music to start playing and the anticipation of the big day itself, spent with loved-ones.
For others, it’s one of the toughest times of the year. Cold weather, worrying about how much it all costs, memories of past Christmases where everything went very wrong, broken relationships and loneliness all take their toll, Christmas is the hardest time to be alone.
And for those of us who go to church, Christmas is a time when we are glad to welcome others in to join us, a reminder to the church that the message of love at the heart of Christmas is for all. The story we tell at Christmas is not only for us in church, it is for everyone, young and old, and it gathers people together despite themselves. It speaks of a love which is extravagant. It’s God’s gift to all.
So I hope and pray you will all enjoy Christmas, and that you will discover that love is at the heart of this season and that is the greatest gift of all.
The gift of love known in the helpless child born into a world of suffering and sorrow – so that we might know God’s love for the world.
Why don’t you join us this Christmas as we celebrate the wonder and joy of this festival of hope, when God comes close to us in Jesus Christ.
God bless, and have a very Happy Christmas!
Rector of Parish of Wyke Regis All Saints with St Edmund