Christmas has come around again, it seems even more quickly than last year. We often feel overwhelmed with the rush of preparations and many lists of things to do. It’s easy to rush and rush and rush and by the time Christmas comes, feel so exhausted, it is difficult to enjoy Christmas at all!
Yet, at the heart of Christmas is a small, still moment of peace, where a mother cradles her baby. After all the rush and worry of preparation and journeying, Mary looked at her new born son and marvelled at his perfection – as all parents do – when presented with a new life.
It would be great to be able to carve out some time in this busiest of seasons, to find a little time to ponder some of the meaning and significance of Christmas. To have a small moment of peace and stillness ourselves to draw breath and wonder about the birth of Jesus.
For that particular new born baby wasn’t just another little boy. Every child is a gift from God, but Jesus was the ultimate gift – the Messiah, who would save the world.
God chose to send his son into the quiet of a winter’s night, in an out of the way room, in an ancient town, set in silent, dark hills.
God could have sent Jesus at any time and in any place, but God sent Him 2000 years before newspapers, radio, television, multi-media, satellites, or the web. Jesus came into the world quietly, humbly and unassumingly. He was a gift, given by a loving father to his children. A gift that signalled God’s everlasting love and mercy. A gift that would save the world. A gift with unimaginable and awesome meaning and significance.
Further on in the story, there are more gifts, given by Magi. Those gifts too, had significance. The gold signalled Jesus’ kingship, the frankincense heralded Jesus’ status as a bridge between us and God and the myrrh foretold Jesus’ death and sacrifice.
They were gifts that told of Jesus’ significance and ultimate meaning to the world.
Giving is at the heart of Christmas – God gave up his son. Mary gave up her reputation and her body to birth Jesus. Jesus gave up his life in heaven to become human for us. But in that giving up, costly and painful as it was, a whole world was saved.
As we take time to think about the significance of Christmas, amongst the hustle and bustle and noise and clamour of demands of the season, perhaps we can also think about what we could give or give up.
Could we look beyond ourselves and give thought and time and love to those who need it most this Christmas?
Could we help the homeless? (after all Jesus was homeless as a new born baby).
Could we think about how we might reach out to those in our community who are strangers? (after all Mary and Joseph were a long way from home, and then had to flee to Egypt!).
Could we befriend the lonely and isolated? (after all, as their child was born, Mary and Joseph were on their own and very vulnerable)
Could we give up some time to help others?
Everyone at Safe Families wishes you a happy and blessed Christmas time and hope that in the busyness, you may find peace to remember the amazing gift that God has given us all.
With love and blessings
The Safe Families Team