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1 December 2012
1 September 2012
1 April 2012
15 March 2012
21 December 2011
I wonder if you have held a baby this year? Or enjoyed gazing at a little one in their buggy or their parent’s arms? They are compelling and draw our attention like nothing else. They are a delight, a blessing and a wonder. They point to the mysterious gift of life. And it is this life we celebrate at Christmas.
‘The Word became flesh and dwelt among us’. God takes on frail and dependent flesh and blood: bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh. He loves flesh and blood. He comes and makes our bodies holy as he lives among us, one of us: and continues to do so by his Spirit dwelling in our hearts. God with us, Emmanuel. Christmas is a time to celebrate our humanity, loved and cherished by God.
So maybe instead of heeding the advice of a recent headline, ‘‘Tis the Season to be Greedy’, it is a time to care for our bodies! And to look to the well being of others and their care.
When you do your Christmas shopping how you choose gifts for those you love? How do you decide what to give them? Do you set a limit on your budget? Do you know them well and set out to buy something you know they would like or have asked for? Do you browse for inspiration? We do all sorts of things I think.
The recent research we conducted through The Children’s Society here in St Ann’s reflected the answers children give nationally. They told us that what they value most in their lives is love and time with their families and friends. What they dislike is the absence of those they love.
I wonder if the best gift we can give anyone this Christmas time, is the gift of ourselves—our time, attention, love. Perhaps this is the most costly of all gifts, and one of the hardest to give, but I suspect that it will be the most appreciated.
At Christmas we celebrate God’s giving of himself to his beloved creation—his time and presence with us. Christina Rossetti in her hymn puts our response so well. She describes our giving the gift of ourselves to to God.
‘If I were a wise man I would play my part,
But what I can I give him, give my heart.’
That is the best gift to God and to those we know.
The lasting image from Christmas shopping for me this year was a woman in a café surrounded by bags and hustle and bustle, quietly feeding her tiny baby as everything happened around her. She was completely focussed on her child. She had given her time, attention, and love. Maybe she was giving her heart.
Have a blessed Christmas, Karen
If you know someone who is unable to get to church at Christmas and who might like to have a short service of communion with one or two people from our fellowship in their homes, please inform one of the clergy.