A new star travels across the heavens, magi study their charts and make ready for a journey, and a carpenter and his betrothed, heavily pregnant, prepare to make the journey demanded of them by the Roman authorities to be counted in a census in Bethlehem. And when these events converge, the angels sing and the world rejoices that God has come to us—Emmanuel.
And we too make our preparations—writing and posting our cards, buying and wrapping our gifts, visiting family and friends, attending school nativities and carol services, buying and making the festive food, sharing the good wishes of the season with people we meet.
But in 2022 it seems a greater challenge to find excitement and joy this Christmas season. Even the adverts on TV seem more muted, recognizing that some families will struggle financially this winter. And a World Cup played in a country with such a poor record on human rights is not generating the level of anticipation and excitement that it usually does.
However, many Christmases we have experienced in our lives, however jaded and cynical we might be about the commercialism of Christmas, every year, for those few days at Christmastime the world seems a kinder place and ‘peace and goodwill’ towards people flows more freely. May it also happen this year.
The challenge, of course, is to keep that peace and goodwill flowing into January and beyond. It seems needed more than ever. The world changed forever that first Christmas, and so with the angels we sing a song of rejoicing that God so loved the world he had created, that he sent his son to be our Saviour.
Not once upon a single time
not once within a single place
but now for every time and place
the truth of Christ is born and lives.
And Christmas fills the earth.
Thanks be to God!
Rev Kate Cook