Christmas in a Nutshell
I don’t know if you have noticed from the build up? Adverts on the telly, shops decorated, decorations in the shopping streets and spied through people’s windows. But we’re at that time of year again! But is Christmas just about the shopping, tree or presents? In a nutshell, it’s all about a God who has showed up on earth. The creator of the universe, who hands flung stars into space, cared enough to come to earth as a tiny baby. ‘The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood.’ (John 1:14, The Message).
Every year our local schools bring pupils and parents, the local community comes in large numbers to our Christingle/Crib service, the normal cycle of Christmas services and we sing carols and retell the same story of the donkey, innkeeper, stable, angels, shepherds, star, wise men, gifts and Mary and Joseph with baby! It’s interesting, because when we celebrate other birthdays, we don’t recall the details of the pregnancy or birth.
So why do we do all this? In a nutshell, it’s about God, who has seen the mess of this world and stepped down to meet our deepest need of relationship with Himself:
‘When the time came, He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, He stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, He lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death.’ (Philippians 2, The Message)
Reflecting on Jesus in the manger is a great place to start, but there’s so much more than a cute baby lying in the bed of straw:
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator;
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist;
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist;
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer;
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Saviour.
Wherever you are celebrating Christmas this year, I hope that you will want to join in the celebrations here at St James or where you are staying. Christ was born for us all!
Happy Christmas (when it comes!)