For Christians, Christmas is never “just another” Christmas.
In our school services (with over 1000 young people and adults who filled St Matthew’s on four occasions) we have reflected on the theme of “surprise”. The surprises are the best bits of Christmas!
Mary was surprised by the angel, Joseph was surprised by Mary, the donkey was surprised to be off to Bethlehem ... and so-on.
“Look around you and see where the crib figures are – point to the surprised shepherds on top of the bookshelves, the surprised wise men on top of the cupboard, … and the elf between the organ pipes, who is full of surprises. And then the greatest surprise of them all: point to yourself. Isn’t it surprising that all of us are here, celebrating a birth that took place two millennia ago.”
Plus, there is a deeper message, as we point to ourselves. Jesus came to reveal the glory of God in our world. And, profoundly, to reveal the full, true potential in each one of us. Because of Jesus we come to understand who we truly are, and the relationship with God for which we were made. God wants us as his daughters and sons, and will give his own Son to achieve it. That’s fantastic news. But how are we to live up to it?
By recognizing that we cannot do it alone. Indeed, to attempt to do it alone would be futile. Which is why we have each other, and family, community and Church are prominent as we set about celebrating the Christmas mystery. May your Christmas be rich in the comforting and familiar things we look forward to. And not without some amazing surprises!
With best wishes for a happy Christmas And a blessed new year