Sunday, 14 December 2014

Toys and tinsel

Christmas is close upon us again, only a matter of days before the big event. The big supermarkets are vying for best Christmas advert for 2014. I would guess that in the UK Monty the penguin has certainly drawn a lot of attention. A child's toy that becomes real in the child's mind and searches for love and the child's realisation that the penguin needs a partner. The child's present for the penguin, another toy penguin. Touching and fun. Love amidst the promotion of products and the toys and tinsel.

Celebrating is a big thing at this time of year, for Christians and for many who don't believe, we like to celebrate and be happy and to make others happy, or at least many of us do. The toys and tinsel bring a sense of excitement as children wait expectantly to be able to open the presents containing the toys and gifts that they hope for and the tinsel and lights that deck out our homes help set the scene.

"Look to the skies there's a celebration", is a modern Advent / Christmas song which we sing in church. It reminds us that Christmas is a time of celebration and excitement, it reminds us that on that first Christmas the waiting was over, God's gift, God's saviour, Jesus, had come and nothing would be the same again. Not a toy or any tinsel in sight at the time, an animals feed trough for a bed, a draughty stable for a room, the one who changed the world arrived in a simple setting.

And yet ... simple it may have been, lacking in the toys and tinsel that our modern celebrations include, the light of the world arrived, to shine on humanity and call us back to God. A light to all, a light to help us see through our misunderstandings about God. A "light" that says come to me.

Amidst the toys and tinsel this Christmas find a few moments to consider what Christmas means to you, Christian or not, is it only the toys and tinsel, the parties and food, the family gatherings that make it Christmas? Or maybe its about love, God's love for us, defined in the arrival of that small baby on that first Christmas, that would change the world and offer us hope, peace, love, joy ...

A cause to celebrate indeed. Have a great time celebrating Christmas.