Happy Christmas! And a special Happy Christmas and thank you to all those who distribute these magazines during the year (without whom you wouldn’t be reading this) and also to our “temporary” Editor who is still patiently awaiting a replacement (any offers to continue his excellent work?).
Christmas isn’t about Presents but Presence. We don’t really need more “stuff” but we do appreciate people being with us, around us, making us feel valued and wanted. That’s the message of the original Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. He didn’t come to give us presents (people gave him gifts) but to give us his presence, to be with us, to become one of us, to live alongside us.
Emmanuel, one of the names given to Jesus before he was born, means God With Us. That’s the good news of Christmas: that there is a Person who can more than fill the emptiness, loneliness and seeming pointlessness of life. Trying to cover up that void by spending money, eating and drinking is just a temporary fix that doesn’t change anything (in fact it can make the days and weeks following seem very depressing).
But Jesus is God come to live with us, alongside us – whoever we are and whatever situation we are in. He came down from heaven to earth to be born as one of us, to grow, live, teach, show compassion, suffer and even die alongside us. And because he now lives forever it does make sense to keep on celebrating his birth, his arrival, his being with us, each and every year. This Christmas, may you truly know that Jesus is God with you.