Short Thought continued.....
Tensions can rise as we head towards Christmas.
Perhaps we have desires or images of family gathering together in perfect harmony;
of this festive time being joyful, peaceful and restful. (umm!?!)
We may feel overwhelmed by a secular world which has bombarded us
with marketing ploys since September.
We may feel overwhelmed with preparations and arrangements.
We may grieve for a family member who is no longer with us and we miss deeply.
We may grieve for family who do not believe that Jesus came to earth as God incarnate.
For them Christmas is something entirely different:
partying or holiday time or it is of no significance at all.
I find myself amongst some family members who do not believe in Jesus and therefore do not wish
to honour the true meaning of Christmas. For other family members Christmas Day is just like another day; the excitement of family gathering and gifts around the tree has dissipated.
I feel saddened that having invested years in creating family traditions
and taking them to church, it is now of little value.
Perhaps you resonate with some of these tensions or
for you other tensions are rising as Christmas draws nearer.
You wonder how you can honour Jesus’ birth in the midst of pressures and preparations,
hopes and anxieties, holding grief or honouring family who have different expectations.
Last Christmas the only thing I managed to do was listen to a radio broadcast of a
service from Ely Cathedral. It was Christmas Eve and I was unexpectedly driving
a long distance to collect my mum from hospital and bring her to my home.
I felt abundantly blessed as I listened to the words of the scripture readings,
heard the beautiful singing and soaked up the words of the carols. My soul was nourished.
At Christmas time, as believers, we have a desire to somehow honour Jesus Christ,
to remember that,
‘For to us a child is born… And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’
(Isaiah 9:6 NIV)
We want to unite in the angel’s chorus,
‘Praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”’
(Luke 2: 13-14 NIV)
During a time that can hold many tensions:
How can your soul be nourished?
How can you help nourish the souls of others?