I always look forward to Christmas time stories that make the blood boil (the old chestnut of Birmingham Council using the term Winterval is always a good conversation starter) and of course we don’t necessarily want to know the whole story because they are all too often far less spectacular than the headline. But don’t Christians just love to feel a bit of persecution.
But what are we to do without the usual Christmas stories? Eric Pickles has declared that the war with Christmas is over. Then to make matters worse it has just been said that you can take photos at School Christmas Nativity services
Well at least we can rail against the commercialism of Christmas as Bishop Alan of St Albans has done! What have they done to our Christmas? Pushing Christ out of Christmas – its appalling. But what’s this?
Over 50% of people believe that Jesus is important to Christmas? Isn’t that a majority?
It also says this
It will surprise people that young people are most likely to believe that Jesus is relevant to their Christmas.
Then 62% in the same study think that Christmas is more than just presents.
It also says that over 10% of those over 65 will be on their own this Christmas and that the poor fear Christmas most (presumably because they can least afford to celebrate it).
I know, I’ve got a great idea. Lets not get worried about any silly Christmas stories this year. Lets look to see how we can actually reflect Jesus and his coming in poverty this year. Lets stop the persecution complex. If a politician is being silly in your area you are always at liberty not to vote for them – no hassle.
But in the meantime there is a great Churches Together Christmas meal on Christmas Day that is being held at Trinity Centre, Holy Trinity Church for those in need or on their own this Christmas. Or you could always invite someone you wouldn’t normally on Christmas day.
What is more we have a Carol Service, two nativities, a Christingle, a midnight communion and a Christmas day celebration coming up. How about inviting someone to be part of our community this year. This chimes with a study in the US about the benefits of community within the church. The blogger churchmouse reflects on this study.
So, don’t get wound up. Relax and enjoy Christmas and make space for others.
PS I haven’t bought a single present for Christmas this year yet – does that make you feel stressed?