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Monthly Letter

From the Vicarage

It’s Christmas time again!

For many of us that will mean a lot of celebrating, carol singing, mince pie eating and present buying (always meaning to start earlier next year…). We know the drill – carols, tinsel, nativity service, midnight communion, unwrapping presents before putting the turkey in the oven and popping out to church for Christmas morning’s service. It can be the same every year.

In some ways it is good if it is the same every year. We build up to it – for those of us with young children, Christmas feels like it has been coming for ages! We look forward to it, and we get good at celebrating it. And we should, because it is a huge event.

Christmas is a world-altering, epoch-changing, universe-transforming event. It’s the day that God came to town! Things can never be the same again. Not just has the world got God’s fingerprints all over it as its Creator, but now his footsteps are planted in the dust itself. Molecules of God’s breath are floating around our own atmosphere. Tones of God’s speech are resonating down through history from real people with real ears who really heard the voice of God as he cried, laughed, argued and chatted.

No wonder we celebrate the anniversary of this event every year. The world has changed. The footsteps cannot be erased. The tones echo on and on and on. Nothing can be the same again. This is what we celebrate at Christmas – the breakpoint in the timeline of the world, the breaking in of God’s love for his people in a new way, the coming together of humanity with divinity itself.

Celebrating every year, however, can become a little stale. Same old, same old, carols and readings; eating turkey for 6 days running; rushing around trying to attend every Christmas party going; getting a bit bored of the same films on TV each time… The fact is, the world changed that first Christmas, but we can become immune to the wonder of what happened that night – partly because it is impossible to fully comprehend! We move further and further away from it in time and culture until it becomes hard to really touch what happened with anything more than a flicker of tinsel.

Could it be possible, that each Christmas, the world still changes? Or has the world lost the ability to change? Could it be that actually, each time we celebrate Christmas, we let God enter the world again in a different, but still spectacular and world-changing way? Could it be that by opening ourselves up again and again, perhaps only once each year, to the magic of God coming to earth, that God can come to earth again – in us? Our world changes as we celebrate, and because of God, the whole world then changes – again and again and again, throughout the years. Every baby in every crib in every town and school and church is a sign to us that every time we open ourselves to God, he is just waiting to come to us, transform us and transform our world!

Happy Christmas! Enjoy partying in a transformed world as God’s heavenly party extends to celebrate our celebrating.

Steve