A CHRISTMAS message from Rev Paul Lawlor, St Stephen’s Church
DO YOU ever wonder why we try to pack so much into this time of year? The shops ask us to buy more, to eat more and give more and better presents. Home style or cookery magazines try to persuade us to make more.
The Church is no better. We hardly model a relaxed way of being in the run-up to Christmas. We have more services in different styles and we try and rush around to School and Community Nativities, Christingle services and someone even spent time wandering around the Kingfisher Shopping Centre dressed as shepherd looking for his sheep.
Why all this activity? We all know but do we live it out, do we really do what we need to do at Christmas. I caused trouble this year by saying that we want to spend quality time with family after Christmas day rather than dashing about to spend tired, rushed time with folk on Christmas day (working over Christmas does make things awkward). Anyway, we think everyone is speaking to us again!
So, what is important? For Christians this is that God came to earth – born in a stable away from home. God came to earth to then have to flee persecution to exile in a foreign land. God came to earth to be die for being too revolutionary. God came to earth to experience all of human life and death and by rising from the dead show the eternal future God has for those who accept Him; and those revolutionary concepts that would condemn the adult Jesus? Love God and Love your neighbour as yourself.
So this Christmas what is important for you?
It might be help those with no real home by supporting the Foodbank or the Redditch Winter Drop in. It might be the help those persecuted and exiled by supporting work with refuges here or abroad. It might be to simply slow down and spend time with family, friends and neighbours. Gifts show something but our time and our love are even more precious.
God came down at Christmas that we might know His love may we reflect that this Christmas.