Notes from an All-Age Christmas Day service on 25.12.08
I love Christmas, it’s a magical time. Looking back, many of my childhood memories come from Christmas time.
Complaining that my parents wouldn’t get up early enough!
Eating a tube of sweets and a Satsuma for breakfast, whilst playing with my new toys.
Playing in the snow on white Christmas, and defrosting in front of Bernard Cribbins on Jackanory.
Competing with my Grandad to see who could eat the turkey drumstick the quickest.
I remember one year having a treasure trail to find a special present – a new bike. In our reading earlier, the shepherds had something like a treasure trail too. They had to find Jesus, just like you have. Only a minister didn’t start their trail – it was started by a host of glorious angels – God’s messengers.
They didn’t have paper clues either. They had a sign to look for – they had to look for a baby who was lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling bands. If they found such a baby, they would know it was God’s son – and that’s just what happened.
Of course, that’s the most important present isn’t it; God’s gift of Jesus to us? What did the angels say about him? That he was a Saviour – he was going to rescue us from all that is wrong, both within us and without us – and that he was going to bring us peace, peace with God, peace with our world and peace with ourselves, if we accept him.
So how did everyone else find out about Jesus? What signs did they have? Some followed a star. Some like Simeon later in the chapter, were lead to Jesus by the Holy Spirit. But what about everyone else? What was their clue, their sign? It was the shepherds, who went about telling everyone about the wonderful things they had seen.
As we celebrate Christmas, it is good to remember how we found out about Jesus. I suspect for most of us, somebody told us about him, just like those shepherds. But maybe, as we celebrate, it would also be good to ask ourselves how our friends and families are going to find out. Who is going to be a sign to them?