I have kept an old Christmas card that my grandparents sent to me over 20 years ago. On the front is a poem, which begins “Where is the heart of Christmas? It’s in the children’s eyes. It’s in excited hands unwrapping each surprise….”
I am reminded of the verse from Matthew, 11: 25:
“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children”.
In Advent, we are waiting on God, for him to come among us once again. In faith we wait in anticipation to receive the gift of Jesus. At Christmas we are reminded of God’s gift to us and
all humankind as we remember the ‘first Advent’ and celebrate the birth of Jesus, offering our thanksgiving along with his parents, Mary and Joseph. We are also reminded of the selfless love
that both Mary and Joseph gave in bringing Jesus into the world.
Advent Sunday this year includes the baptism at Starbeck of a young baby. A child is brought among us with joy and thanksgiving, and we are delighted to welcome him into our church family.
In the reading from Matthew, Jesus brought a little child among the disciples and said that they would never enter the kingdom of heaven unless they became like a child.
In his ministry Jesus begun the kingdom on earth, and as his followers, in the ‘second Advent’ we hope for his second coming when heaven and earth will at last become complete. We may be in an ‘inbetween’ time, but the challenge is to meet with God ‘now’, to look for ways in which God is at work in our lives and within the world, to trust Him, and to look for ways in which we can change and work with Him.
God was in the beginning (John 1:1), God is now, and always will be (Revelation 1:8), and is worthy of our trust.
In the anticipation of the season of Advent, and in the celebration of Christmas, Jesus challenges us to have the faith of a child – one that is sincere, whose faith in God has no doubts, who trusts in Him like a child would.
“Where is the heart of Christmas?”
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”
Have an exciting Christmas and a Happy New Year!