St Luke tells the central part of the Christmas story in fewer than 100
words, but it has stood the test of time. It is miraculous that
something which happened to an ordinary couple in a distant, occupied
land around 2000 years ago should still be told. But when God gets
involved, anything is possible!
This year is the latest in a series of different Christmases. The last
two have had shadows of coronavirus over them. In 2022 we have seen the
horrors of war in Ukraine. We know how expensive life is becoming and
the real stresses this is bringing to many people, including in this
Things were not easy 2000 years ago either. The Romans wanted to know how
many people they could tax. So, Mary and Joseph went from Nazareth to
Bethlehem, for Joseph came from a family there. The journey is about 80
miles. No buses, trains, taxis or cars. The best they could manage was
probably a donkey. And for Mary, in the final days of her pregnancy, an
extremely tiring and uncomfortable journey.
Bethlehem was full. There was no room. But, amongst all the chaos, one
innkeeper did what he could. He offered the stable or cave with the
animals, although there was no glamour in this setting – dirt, smell,
damp, darkness, despite all we do to brighten the nativity scene.
Whatever it was or was not, the place was sufficient for God to come to
this earth in the form of that tiny baby, Jesus.
Christmas represents the ultimate love story. God loved the world so
much, that God was prepared to give it another go, sending Jesus to show
us how to live, how to get on with one another and especially how to
love each other.
At this darkest time of year, it is no surprise that Christmas in
Britain is celebrated with so many lights. We thrive in the light and we
thrive when we are surrounded by love. God truly knows what is best for
us – that is why light and love are so important.
I wish each of you God’s blessings for Christmas. Like the innkeeper, I
hope we are inspired to do what we can to make Christmas better for
others, for surely we are then doing the work of God. May this Christmas
be happy and healthy, filled with love, light, peace and joy, and
thanksgiving for God’s gift of Jesus.
Every blessing, David.
Best wishes, David.