All I want for Christmas
I thought I’d ask a few members of our church what they would like for Christmas.
Ros (our churchwarden) said …
I can honestly say there is nothing I need in the way of material things – I am very fortunate!
But what would be really good? Well that would be for a sense of peace in the world, within this country, and between families and neighbours. The kind of peace that comes from a respect for others whatever their race or religion. A trust in God, remembering the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus as our Saviour, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Susie (Youth Work Coordinator) took a different line …
In the Christmas story there are lots of hints of things to be and clues on how to interpret them. It’s easy, with hindsight, to put it all together and see how the story of Jesus’ birth was anticipated. But it was a mystery to most people at the time it happened. At the moment our youth work feels a bit like that. We know what we’d like but we need funding to achieve it. The long-term vision is clear but the path to get there is clouded in uncertainty. It can be a bit scary living in that mystery – one has to keep still, not panic and steer a steady course, one tiny step at a time, until all becomes clear.
I think that was what it was like for the characters in our nativity story – they were on a journey shrouded in mystery. So we’re in good company. Still, if I could have anything for Christmas it would be a little bit of clarity that we are heading the right way, and what the next steps may be.
Paul (our Assistant Priest) returned to the theme of peace …
This year will be seen as an historic one. On Remembrance Day we commemorated the centenary of the signing of the Armistice which brought the slaughter of the First World War to an end. At precisely 11.00 am on 11th November 1918 the guns stopped their thunderous salvoes and the horrendous sound of exploding bombs ceased. After nearly five years, the noises that meant death to millions ceased; peace and calm prevailed.
It is the gift of peace and calm that I wish for this Christmas. We know that the Armistice of 1918 proved to be temporary. During the last 100 years there have many wars, the promise of peace and calm has been illusory. As we celebrate Christmas and the birth of the Christ Child, let us remember that he is the Prince of Peace and brings the hope of peace and calm.
So … a peaceful world and society, and perhaps some clarity over the path ahead. That sounds good. And maybe some chocolate for a one-off treat!