It’s Christmas again! Actually it’s Advent until December 25th but it depends when you’re reading this double month issue doesn’t it! So I won’t get picky. As I write (in November) we’re off on holiday and one of the reasons we go away in November is to escape the ‘in your face’ Christmas adverts. It’s FAR TOO EARLY!
By the time we actually get to Christmas there’s a danger of being fed up with it. And then the same stresses are upon us once more – Who shall we visit this year? – What shall we get them? – Oh no, do we HAVE to have them round?
But there are fun stories too. I heard one a couple of years ago about a boy in the school nativity who was overheard saying, “I don’t know why we’re doing all this again. Jesus was born LAST year!”
As I heard those words I knew that there was a sermon in there, as they are quite profound because that’s what Christmas really is about. Jesus being born again. It’s not just another Christmas like last year, or the year before, but it’s asking Jesus to be born again, anew, in me and in each of us. Not a physical birth of course, but a spiritual one.
This is what many of our Carols are about. In the words of ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ for example, ‘be born in us today.’ ‘O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel.’ Indeed Immanuel (or Emmanuel) means ‘God with us’.
That’s the essence of Christmas. We celebrate not only an historical event (albeit with a few additions possibly) but we seek a spiritual event by asking God to be born in us. And we, like Jesus and through God’s Spirit, can change the world.
Does that sound far fetched? Well it isn’t. We can certainly influence and make a difference where we are. And our ‘calling’ is to share Jesus with others. To always be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have; to always be wanting to share the great news of Jesus in us. Yes ‘Always’! Our mission and witness is for life – not just for Christmas!
So we’re running Alpha in January. A chance to come yourself and to invite friends to explore more about this Jesus whose birth we celebrate. This Jesus who changed the world. This Jesus who we ask ‘be born in us today’. This Jesus who changes lives today and can dramatically change yours, and your friends, family and neighbours, too.
So for the December and January issue – Have a blessed Advent, a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and why not start 2020 with a new years’ resolution to find out more about Jesus, or invite someone to do the same, by coming to, or bringing them to Alpha. (More details are in this issue)