St George’s Church: Your Message from St George’s

It’s late October as I write this and it seems that things are really hotting up as we head towards Christmas. Many people will have already made good start with their present shopping (I know one person has already finished but the less said about that the better!) It seems like Christmas decorations have been in the shops since, well…..forever.
All of this makes it seem like Christmas is on its way. And where does this leave us? Excited? Worried? Forgetful? Stressed? Joyful? Expectant? Probably a mixture of all of those emotions.
The season of Advent which encompasses the four Sundays in the run up to Christmas day, is a time of preparation. It’s a time for preparing our houses, our celebrations, our present lists, our shopping lists, our decorations, but it is also a time for preparing ourselves to celebrate.
To celebrate the arrival of Jesus. Who, like many other babies, was looked for, longed for and turned up at time that wasn’t entirely convenient for his family!
Sometimes we can get very caught up with preparing for Christmas. Making sure that everything will be perfect (and some of it will be, some of it won’t be). Sometimes it can seem as if something or someone is forgotten or overlooked, then Christmas will be a failure.
Sometimes it seems like the wonderful and exciting trappings and trimmings of Christmas are Christmas itself.
What would Christmas be like without all those things? What makes Christmas in your house? I’m sure we can all share different traditions that we have developed over the years. But if that wasn’t to happen, would it still be Christmas?
If the trappings and trimmings of Christmas fail, or if we end up, like my family did one year, no electricity, no heating and a burst water pipe buried in concrete in the sitting room, how would we celebrate Christmas? Jesus is coming into the world…… and he will arrive whether we are ready or not.
John, who wrote an account of Jesus’ life in the Bible, shares these famous words as he writes about the birth of Jesus.
“The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world” (John 1. 9)
Enlightens means shining on the outside and on the inside. It means that all the celebrations that happen around Jesus’ birth are about celebrating the Light coming into the world and coming into our lives. I find it reassuring and humbling that Jesus is coming, and nothing I do, or don’t do, will change that.
May you know the light and peace of Jesus this Christmas,

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