I adored Christmas as a child, we had wonderful big Christmas trees, covered with lights and we got together with all of my cousins for Christmas Day and Boxing Day and played games and ate too much food. I wish sometimes I could recapture the magical nature of Christmas as a child, that sense of anticipation, the joy, the presents I knew nothing about… I want to refloat the boat, I want to look forward to Christmas with a sense of anticipation and excitement because of what it means about the God I believe in. I get to preach about the real meaning of Christmas and not getting lost in the shopping, cooking and general busyness and it is one of the messages I most need to hear myself.
In John chapter 1, Jesus is described as the Life-Light in the Message version. What a wonderful metaphor and what a helpful reminder as I look at the myriad of Christmas lights and remember that Jesus is the light of the world and think about all the ways that following Jesus has brought light into my life. As I sing carols I am mindful that I am singing my theology at times. This final verse of O Holy Night encapsulates so much of the hope that celebrating the birth of Jesus evokes and the thought of perhaps this year will be different, this year there will be more signs of peace on earth, this year we will see more acts of love, this year
Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name
So this year I am trying to refloat the Christmas boat and try and enter into the story in a way that helps me see it afresh and get a glimpse of how magical it was to see a star and follow it or hear an angel and be comforted.
This is a beautiful version of the carol if you don’t know it with photographs by Ken Duncan who we discovered when visiting Australia. An amazing shot of camels on a beach!