Christmas Dinner

No. 61 - 10th December 2017

When I was a child, it would have been about this time of year that I would start getting excited about Christmas. I don’t mean going to Church and singing Christmas carols, I mean the anticipation of what presents I would be getting. That, and Christmas dinner was what it was all about for me. Then as I grew up it became increasingly a matter of wracking my brains to think of what presents I could buy for the rest of the family and trying to remember who I should be sending Christmas cards to. When the big day finally arrived, I would be commandeered into helping with the dinner, tidying up the living room and eating until all I could do was flop exhausted onto the sofa and watch any old rubbish on television for the rest of the day. Is that really what Christmas is all about?

Two thousand years ago, somewhere in the Middle East, a little baby was born into the world. It looked like any other baby from a working-class background. There was no halo. No soft glowing light around it. Just an ordinary little baby boy. Then something extraordinary started to happen. A bunch of shepherds came down out of the hills and wanted to see this baby because they said an angel had appeared to them, out in the fields and told them that this baby was a Saviour and the long awaited Messiah. Now I don’t know what that conjured up in their minds, but with hindsight, we know that it went way beyond the Jewish nation and included all of us in what God was doing. This was an event that God the Father had been planning from the very beginning of time. A moment around which the whole of history would revolve. This was a child whose life and death and resurrection would affect everyone who had ever lived before him and all of us who followed after. A child who was nothing less than God himself stepping down into his creation to deal with everything that had gone wrong with the world. Later in his life, that same child would say, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Well, I don’t think a turkey dinner really does justice to the event. Do you?

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