Unwrapping Christianity for Christmas
by Roger Cresswell (Licensed Lay Minister)
So much of the excitement of Christmas for children is receiving presents. Even the most ordinary are heavily wrapped, perhaps cushioned with clever internal packaging, in a box enclosed in protective film which, will be further covered with tissue and an outer pretty paper, sealed with sticky tape then tied with coloured bindings and crowned with a bow. Parents love to watch feverish, stubby little fingers furiously trying to get through to the present underneath. The Sellotapes always the trickiest bit, isnt it?
However, receiving is only one side of this equation, the other, of course, is giving. Amidst the trappings of a commercial Christmas, we need to step back and look at the real Christ-mas, the precious gift of God amongst us in humble human form. The trouble is, the simplicity and magnitude of this gift has, over the last 2000 years, been boxed in religion, wrapped in complicated layers of theology, Sellotaped with the practice of individual Churches, decorated with the bows of vestments and church furniture.
The Gospels of the Good News of Christ are really very straightforward. We read of a real life blossoming from that humble start in a stable to an adult who explained the Kingdom of Heaven by his example as a servant of all, who answered the difficult questions of life by asking the questioners to look into their own hearts. The man in sandals so long ago and far away showed us how much we matter to God: he gave us the possibility of a close relationship with the Father, to whom we could bring ourselves, our successes and our troubles. He demonstrated the power of love to conquer everything if we are open to the message of humility and service. This Christmas lets cut away the wrappings and carefully bring out the gift of peace and love. All that is required is that we accept this extraordinary present into our ordinary lives, freed of its trappings, this model for life, this rock of our faith is truly not just for Christmas. Now we can get ready to enjoy the festivities. A joyous, peaceful and blessed Christmas to you all.
Yours in Christ,
We come together in church to worship God, to hear His word and to share the Good news of Jesus,
receiving forgiveness and renewal through His death and resurrection.
We are sent out from church to live as Christian disciples, showing love to others
and living out our faith in all we think, say and do.