I can’t fail to get excited when the Christmas lights begin to appear in the shop windows and on our high streets, heralding the arrival of the festive season. It is perhaps, an over-used statement when we observe that it seems to get earlier each year, but as I write, the lights are up and on in the streets of Wensleydale and we have only just finished with Remembrance.
I confess that the lights and the decorations will be up very early in the Vicarage this year but with a particular reason. Our daughter who lives in Lincoln, is due to give birth to her first child and this joyful occasion is set to take place just a few days before Christmas Day; so … even though the gathered family will feature a GP, she prefers not to travel ‘up North’, so the Clarks are going to do Christmas a month early. We’re all very excited about it, even if another grandchild is destined to be born outside the hallowed boundaries of ‘God’s own county’.
The imminent birth of a child always brings with it great anticipation, preparation and excitement and we are no different in that respect, but as last year we had a grandson born on New Year’s Day, we’re looking forward to another season of rejoicing. As for now; the preparations of expectant parents that speak of love, continue.
The arrival of God’s son on earth was also planned so very carefully. Over 600 years before Jesus was born, prophets were already recording key facts about his life. Many of these form important parts of the Old Testament in the Bible and refer to where he would be born, who his mother would be, where he would live, why he was coming, key moments in his life and the very manner of his death. I have always found this level of preparation by God fascinating, awesome and exciting. It’s there. It exists. The inescapable documentary evidence was written down centuries before it took place as a witness of God’s promise and his love and it is in our hands. I wonder what we might choose to do with that incredible knowledge as we see and hear the events of that world changing event shared with us once again?
I do hope that we may see you at some of the many different events and services taking place in Wensleydale this Christmas. It would be our very real pleasure to welcome you there and to share with you the joy and the reality that Jesus isn’t just for Christmas …. He’s for every day of our lives!
May the peace of the Christ-child be yours this Christmas.