Christmas is on its way!

“Christmas comes but once a year” - so it’s important that we don’t miss out this time round!  We might think that it’s impossible to miss Christmas - with all the stuff in the shops, the adverts on the TV and the lights up everywhere.  However, there are (at least) three ways we could fail to gain something important from this season.  

(1) We could miss out on the message of Christmas.  We all know that the meaning of Christmas different to what Tesco, Morrisons and the rest are telling us.  But even for Christians it’s easy for the season to rush by without us taking time to reflect and think anew about what the bible says about the meaning of Jesus birth.  Maybe using our Advent book One true Story can help us to pause and ponder again. 

(2) We could miss out on the joy of Christmas.  The Christmas message is certainly a joyful one - Emmanuel: God with us.  The trouble is that, often, with so much to organise and do, it’s possible to fail to enjoy and celebrate just how amazing this is.  Hopefully our special services this year will convey at least some of this - both in joyful praise and quiet thoughtful moments.      

(3) We could also miss the opportunity Christmas brings.  This is probably the only time of year that large numbers of people think about going to church.  In fact, some are even planning to do so!  As a church we are trying our best to make sure that they know that they are invited -  through our 12,000 Christmas leaflets (thanks to all who have been hard at work delivering), and through our Advent Window Countdown (thanks to those who’ve been creating and organising).  However, even though these will hopefully be reminding people that our churches are open again this Christmas(!), nothing beats a personal invitation.  So if there has been someone that you’ve been meaning to invite to church now is probably the best time to do it - otherwise it might mean waiting another 12 months!

Looking forward to the Saviour, Isaiah said (in ch.9 v.2): 

 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

   on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

That is a joyful thought - it does need reflecting on - it’s worth sharing. So, let’s not miss out on the message, the joy or the opportunity.      Mark