Another two months have passed by, and we are closer to Christmas than ever… only 4 weeks to go now to 25th December. In the midst of the busyness of the month of December, perhaps it would be good for all of us to take time during the season of Advent (which somehow seems to lose its effect with preparation in the shops beginning in September!) to prepare ourselves for the arrival of someone special in our lives.
Jesus came into the world as a baby – completely dependent upon the care of his human parents Mary and Joseph. He needed to be nurtured and loved and fed and changed. He also needed preparing for – in the case of Mary and Joseph it meant a long journey from Galilee in Nazareth to Bethlehem, with the hope of finding somewhere to stay when they arrived and trusting that the pregnancy would go to plan and the baby Jesus would arrive safely.
When a couple are looking forward to the arrival of a child into their family, all sorts of things are done to prepare beforehand. Clothes might be bought, and nappies, and various furniture like a cot and changing table, a pram, etc. And then there is preparing the physical space the baby will inhabit – choosing the colour for the walls in the nursery room, clearing it of all the rubbish dumped there over a long period of time (that usually can’t be found a home elsewhere in the house), and decorating it with lovely things ready for it to become home to a precious infant. We need to make a similar space in our full and chaotic and unprepared lives for the arrival of a special gift this Christmas.
We already decorate the space (with bright and cheerful decorations around our home), and buy gifts recognising love for each other, and tidy up our homes ready for the arrival of special guests. So we are already used to preparing for the arrival of something significant in our lives at Christmas…perhaps this Christmas we can also take time together and individually to make space in our hearts and lives for the most precious gift we can receive – a new life emerging alongside us and within us. We have all the rest prepared already – what we need to recognise is the knowledge of Jesus being here with us and within us personally.
Finally, perhaps some of you can share more physically in the Nativity story – if you would like to be a part of receiving and passing on the travelling Nativity scene that goes from home to home this Advent, please do talk to our Family Worker Andrea Ellams at church, or send her a message through the Church website. How lovely to know that we are part of the journey together of welcoming Jesus into our midst this Christmas season.
Sending each of you love and best wishes during this wonderful Christmas season, and for the beginning of a New Year in 2013.
Reverend Denise Harding
Written by the Minister & Members