Last week I took an infant school assembly. I told the children the story of the birth of Jesus ... or rather, I told the story with their help. Because actually most of them knew it already. They knew about Mary & Joseph, Nazareth & Bethlehem, wise men & shepherds, angels & stars. So we told the story together.
I ended by saying to them that Jesus was God's gift to all of us. God loves us all, and gave us Jesus and his life in order to show us that love. At Christmas we celebrate that gift of Jesus. And, just as God showed his love for us in that gift, we too show our love for each other by giving gifts.
They say it's not the value of the gift that matters, but the thought that goes into choosing it. I couldn't agree more. Giving a gift to show you love someone is about choosing something appropriate, not about how much you spend. Or as Lennon & McCartney put it - 'Money can't buy me love'.
This is the last blog before Christmas, so ... I hope you all have a good Christmas. It would be great to see you at some of our Christmas services as the big day draws near. But finally, I hope that the gifts which you give & receive, whatever their monetary value, show the thoughtfulness involved in love.