Christmas Reflection

with Rev’d Richard Lee of St Mary’s and St Michael’s Church. We tend to get unsettled when the seasons don’t feel right. Sun in the summer, snow in the winter with showers and storms between, well they […]

with Rev’d Richard Lee of St Mary’s and St Michael’s Church.

We tend to get unsettled when the seasons don’t feel right. Sun in the summer, snow in the winter with showers and storms between, well they help us to make ‘sense’ of our days.

Not that we welcome snow or wind or indeed rain but in the scheme of things seasonal weather settles our behaviours and sometimes helps us to live our lives more fully settled way.

So with the, ‘seasons of our faith’ – commonly referred to as the liturgical calendar in the Church. These religious seasons still have some reference to our secular world and lifestyle. We still use words like, Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide or even Hallowe’en (All Hallows’ Eve) to refer to certain times of the year – that drive our behaviours.

Many other such words have fallen out of use except in very special environments such as Universities when terms are sometimes called Michaelmas, Hilary (St Hilary) or Trinity.

So, Christmas is on its way. It begins with the first Mass of Christ actually Christmas Eve/Day (Midnight Mass).

The challenge is, of course that there is so much pressure on Christmas, when we celebrate the Gift of the Christ Child that we have to anticipate the feast and so out come the adverts on TV, the gifts in the shops the pressure to buy buy buy and spend up to the hilt. The buying and the spending can leave us ‘broke and worried’. It’s no use me saying don’t do it because none of us can avoid it. Let’s face it, receiving a gift can be most pleasing and giving a gift can also bring equal pleasure.

I am not being a spoil sport or a Scrooge. I just don’t want the beautiful gift of the Christ Child to be associated with stressed families, broken budgets and worry.

The tendency to anticipate and prepare for Christmas is understandable but it tends to add to the expense and the stress. Strangely enough the season that precedes Christmas is called Advent.

It’s meant to be a season of solemn preparation and of denial. That is how Christians anticipated the feast. To remind them of the wonderful gift that the Christ child was and to alert them that when the Christ came again he would be judging them on how they had used the gift of their own lives! So no wonder Advent was a bit solemn.

We can’t get back to those days but what we can do is ‘not to throw out the good news of the Baby Jesus at Christmas’ with the old decorations, and crumpled tinsel.