What is there to say about Christmas?
It is probably the most well known festival of the Christian calendar. It is a time when we celebrate: a time of joy and gifts, a time of food and drink and parties and decorations, a time of trees and tinsel, carols and mince pies.
But, is that what we mean it to be?
Christmas may be culturally central to our year, but the religious implications and the meaning of it, at its root, for all Christians is more than any of those ‘trimmings’. Christmas is the time when we celebrate because it is the time when God came into our world and became flesh. As a vulnerable and poor child. God didn’t come as a powerful super being, with strength and weapons to make the world follow him, but as a child who became like us in order that we might know the love of God and recognise the grace and mercy of forgiveness.
So, Christmas is all these things, and at St John’s we enjoy ourselves, we buy gifts, we eat and drink and be merry. But we celebrate the incarnation, the God-made-flesh moment.
Christmas begins on Christmas Eve, and ends 40 days later at Candlemas on February 2nd. During that time we mark Jesus’ birth and the arrival of the Magi at Epiphany, and then on 2nd February his presentation in the temple. We remember the slaughter of the innocents and we think about the world into which Jesus was born, relating that to our world today.
Christmas lasts forty days. It is one of the great feasts of the church. At St John’s we like to celebrate properly. And all are welcome as we do.