Luke 2: 7

"She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger - there was no room for them to stay in the inn."

Rev'd Robert Sheard

Yet again this year we hear that Christmas could be cancelled, last year it was going to be cancelled because we couldn't see family or friends, this year it is because of supply issues, we can't get toys for the children, we can't get our turkey, then we really miss the point of Christmas, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, not food and presents, as nice as they are.

The story of Christmas is not a story about what we get physically, presents and food! We can still celebrate Christmas without all those trimmings. It is about celebrating one particular present, that of Jesus Christ who came into the world a poor and hopeless baby born in a stable, born to a poor working family, born in a time when his own country was occupied by the Romans, where people did not feel that they were free in their own country.

The story of Christmas is a story that brings us hope, things will get better, and don't we need that story retold to us at this time, with the ongoing crisis of climate change, the ongoing crisis of the pandemic, we need a story now more than ever of hope that things will change, and get better and that's what the Christmas story truly about. The babe born in Bethlehem just over two thousand years ago came to change the world and still can change the world today.

Unlike last year we will be able to sing carols in church, we will get together and worship and thank God for the gift of Jesus, this is the time when we need that reassurance that things do get better, but because of that we are reminded of our own place in the story, Jesus is not just a gift to us, but also a gift for the world, and receiving that gift it gives us the strength to move on and work together to grow the kingdom of God here and now.

How ever you celebrate Christmas remember the true story of Christmas and have a good one.

Happy Christmas,

Rev'd Robert Sheard

United Reformed Church Minister of Stowmarket, Debenham, Stowupland, Mendlesham & Haughley

December 2021