Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!

Dear friends,

Here’s a question for you…do you wish it could be Christmas every day? Over the course of November, we have seen a trickle of TV festive adverts become a deluge, and each one seems to feature smiling children, beautifully decorated tidy houses and dining tables positively groaning with fabulous food. In other words, the message is clear… of course you wish it could be Christmas every day! Why wouldn’t you?

The only problem is that hardly anyone we’ve spoken to recently seems to agree. They’ve complained that the whole tinselly nonsense starts way too soon; that the Christmas cards have started arriving far too early; and frankly nobody’s in the mood anyway as the world is broken and full of hate. Noddy Holder has been singing ‘so here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun’ for fifty years, and we still think he’s mistaken.

Oh dear… where did we go wrong? How could the beautiful story of God becoming a helpless infant and living amongst us, be so lost in this homage to commerce which causes so much anxiety? Have we really forgotten that the angels told the shepherds not to be afraid, because they brought good news which would bring joy to everyone and hold out the promise of peace on earth? When the wise men saw the star rising in the east, they didn’t sigh and complain about the state of the roads, but were instead overjoyed and hurried off to find the child who was born to be king. Where has our joy gone – and do we really mean it when we say we’ll be glad when Christmas is over?

We cannot be naive here… Christmas is never going to be stress free, regardless of our circumstances, but we can and must engage with the truth of the story if we are to recapture the ground we have lost. God the Son has lived amongst us, died for us and rose again to bring salvation to us. Through His church He wants to show His love for the world He longs to embrace and to give hope to all those in despair. Believing that, we cannot fail to sing, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord, and living in this hope, to be glad it really can be Christmas every day.

With our love and prayers this Christmas,
Matthew and Pauline