Uhoh ... it's almost here
It’s getting closer, and closer. Soon you’ll be able to touch it. Are you ready? What will you do? How will you respond?
Yes, that time of year again. Sigh. “Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home.” (Carol Nelson)
Do you know where your home is?
This week someone sent me a letter to share (below), their wonderful thoughts about the coming Christmas and all that it holds ... different things for different people.
If you also have a story you’d like to share about your thoughts on Christmas, please email it to me and we’ll put it up here to share with everyone (anonymously, of course).
Emmanuel: The Gift of Presence
I love Christmas time. Why does that sound so strange? The shops are already full of glitz, canned carols and impatient shoppers. I witnessed a woman in Woolworths yesterday causing a scene and shouting at employees because her tin of something-overpriced had a tiny scratch on it! Many people loathe this time of year for the consumerism and the family stress.
But I love Christmas. And the reason for this is that it reminds me of the most exciting truth about my faith: Emmanuel. God is with us. So simple, but so exciting.
At this time of year I usually make some space in my head for reflection. As a relatively driven person, this reflection quickly tends towards plan-making. These plans have to do with improving myself, shoring up treasures on earth, furthering my career and other such self-aggrandizing pursuits. But thinking about Jesus lying helpless in a manger in Bethlehem 2000 years ago changes my perspective. I love it that God chose to arrive in human form as a tiny wee babe. I mean, most Jews were expecting a conquering hero as their messiah. And God could have done it in such a fashion as to make Steven Spielberg hang his head in shame! But there we have it. God as an infant. It reminds me that God primarily wants to be with us. A baby can’t offer us anything but its presence, but there is usually a magic about that presence which changes us, especially if we’re closely connected to him or her. The same with God. If we managed to sit still long enough, we are changed by God’s presence.
So I hope I remember to make time this Christmas to be in God’s presence. To sit next to Jesus as He sleeps in the stable and just relish the gift of Himself. And I know if I do, I will be changed.