December 2016/January 2017
“He was in the world, and the world owed its existence to him, yet the world did not recognise him. He became part of what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.” (John 1:10-11)
Ah, Christmas is fast approaching. Wherever you look, the signs are all around – Christmas decorations are beginning to appear (they’ve been in the shops for weeks now!), carols are being practised, pantos are being rehearsed, Christmas cards will soon be dropping through letter boxes, and soon things will get so hectic that we will be longing for a moment of quiet amongst the chaos.
One Sunday morning, a man woke up around 5am, his wife and children still asleep. Glad to have time to himself, he went downstairs, made some tea, sat at the kitchen table and began to read the morning paper. Three sentences into an article, he saw his 5-year-old daughter descending the stairs.
"Why don’t you go back to your nice cosy bed?" he said.
"But I'm not sleepy," she insisted.
Determined to read his paper, he again urged her to go back to bed. Again, she told him she was not tired. Looking down at the newspaper, he conceived a plan. In the paper was a picture of the world, which he cut into several pieces. Handing his daughter some Sellotape, he instructed her, "Go sit in the dining room, and see if you can put the world back together."
His daughter accepted the challenge, and he went back to the kitchen to finish his tea and read the paper. After only a few sips, though, his daughter came bounding into the kitchen. "Here, Daddy, I'm finished!" she said, showing him the picture of the world put back together.
Amazed, he asked, "How did you do that so fast?"
She replied, "It was easy, Daddy. On the other side of the page was a picture of a person. When you make the person right, you make the world right."
This season I hope you do find a moment in the midst of all your busyness to savour the true Spirit of Christmas, to remember why Christ came into the world, which was not to bring chaos, but to bring peace. Remember the real story of Christmas is about the one who came to make the world right.
I pray you all will have a Happy Christmas and peace-filled New Year, and I take this opportunity to use my ministerial office to accord you God’s blessing this Christmas:
“May God’s mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.”
Until the next time – The Lord, bless you and keep you.
Your minister …