From the Vicar, December 2015
From The Vicar, Revd Paul Cawthorne.
Christmas is Coming. Does the thought give you a warm glow at the impending commemoration of the birth of Jesus, the yearned for Prince of Peace who came to help our troubled world, or does it make you worry about whether all the frantic preparations, cards, cakes, tinsel and turkey, are in hand? It’s a real dilemma how much to engage with all the hype in the run up to Christmas, and a simple approach can be more difficult to achieve than going along with all the commercial pressures, the adverts on TV, the dangerously seductive quick fix of a loan to bridge the gap, the pester power from kids and from supermarkets. Simplicity is more about pausing amid the rush, making time for the carol and the crib service, enjoying children’s excitement at the promise of the feast or special meals with longstanding friends. It’s looking up at the stars on a clear night and wondering at the mystery of it all, realising our own frailties and failings as we prepare our hearts for the festival, yet welcoming the God who loves and accepts each one of us as we are, when He comes to earth in a vulnerable little baby's birth. Christmas is about bringing these two sides together, enjoying the fellowship of the season while holding its ultimate meaning, realising how much we all need the warmth and hope that it brings into our often cold and callous-seeming world. Unless you become like little children, said Jesus, you can't enter the kingdom of heaven. Advent and Christmas offer us a gradually-clearing window onto that world, when we can glimpse the eternal in the everyday. May unexpected joys and blessings come close as we prepare our hearts with yearning and with excitement to celebrate the coming of the saviour this Christmas.