It’s no secret, I love Christmas. I try not to put the Christmas CD on too early, but I was thinking about it from around the end of August. I held off until the beginning of Advent. I confess though I started buying tins of Quality Street as soon as they hit the shops…
I love this period of anticipation and preparation, the planning and decorations, even the shopping for presents. I like to think about the people I’m buying for, spending time reflecting on their personality, likes and hobbies.
Mostly though I am overwhelmed during Advent by the very idea of the truth of the incarnation. That God, almighty, creator, sovereign, timeless God should become man, tiny, vulnerable, fragile, needy baby boy. It’s too easy in the busyness and the lights and music and the decoration to miss, not the baby in the manger, we know he’s there, but the outrageous claim that he is fully God.
Christmas is not an easy time for everyone, for some there remains the bitter sting of grief or the loneliness of a mantlepiece devoid of greetings cards. In that baby God, in the notion that God sleeps in the manger and nurses at his mother’s breast, there is hope and peace in a God who loves you, who is close by, who brings peace and wholeness.
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.