The Rector Writes - December 2018

By the time you read this, it will be almost impossible to avoid the preparations for Christmas.

Every shop you go into will have music with sleigh bells.

Battery-powered Santas will be ho-ho-ho-ing wherever you turn.

Not to mention the pressure of getting ready for the great day itself:

Working out quite how enormous the turkey needs to be to feed the assembled hordes (and how many sprouts?)

Checking and rechecking the presents, to make sure that there is no repeat of the year your third cousin twice removed didn't receive anything (and the awkward afternoon that led to)

The stress can be huge.

(There is a reason that organisations like the Samaritans, domestic violence shelters, and mental health teams, and other support groups report that Christmas can be their busiest time of year).

So what's it all for?

What is the purpose of Christmas? Why go to all the trouble?

It's not a difficult question to answer.

We do it all because of the relationships we have with people.

We want our families to know we've thought of them, so we buy them presents. We want to share time with the ones we love, so we prepare the house, take time off work, and get ready to feed them.

It's all about the relationships.

Because the first Christmas was all about relationships.

Why did God go to all the trouble of sending prophets hundreds of years before, angels beforehand and on Christmas night itself, and a star afterwards?

Why did He send His Son at Christmastime? Because of relationships: He wanted to fix the relationship that we had broken when we turned our back on Him, so that we and He would be back on speaking terms.

So this Christmas, take the time for those relationships. Phone your aunt in Australia, make sure that the turkey is big enough for everyone, check the presents to make sure that none had been left out.

But don't forget the most important relationship of all.

If you and God haven't been on speaking terms, maybe this is the perfect time to get back in touch. He'd love to hear from you.