Christmas: What is there to celebrate?

Christmas approaches once more. Once more, we are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus in a Bethlehem inn. The saccharine nature of so much of the Christmas bonanza we see around us seems at odds with the increasingly uncertain world we live in.

Injustice and oppression are increasing both abroad and at home. People flee to our shores from the violence we have played a part in unleashing.

Life in Britain is becoming harder and harder for people living with disabilities and for those on low incomes. So what is there to celebrate this year?

What we shall celebrate at Christmas this year is what we have celebrated since the Church was born at Pentecost.

Christmas tells us that God is not distant, uncaring or uninvolved with our difficulties, our struggle or our pain.

In Jesus, “the word was made flesh and dwelt among us”. He lived and proclaimed the eternal and unstoppable Kingdom of God.

On the Cross, he died for our sins and by His resurrection and the sending of the Holy Spirit in to our hearts, Jesus’ life of love can be made real today in us, in our words and our actions in the midst of our suffering and complicated world.

At Christmas we celebrate an event in the past, the birth of Jesus, our Saviour, but we rejoice because we are promised that Jesus will be born afresh each day in our hearts to make His love real among us, if we but ask.