Tuesday, 2 January 2018

New Year: Christmas Clearance: Ian Green

Popped into Tesco over the weekend and almost the first shelf I bumped into was labelled ‘Christmas Clearance’.

Items, highly prized and priced just days ago, were now on offer at knock down prices!  Somehow the crackers and chocolate Santas loose their sparkle remarkably quickly after the 25th.

Then on New Year’s Day, in search of milk, I breeze into Waitrose and find a whole shelf of Easter Bunnies!  All felt a bit like ‘indecent haste’!

In 1973, as a twelve-year-old, the band Wizzard had a hit entitled ‘I wish it could be Christmas everyday’ – now that’s not a sentiment I readily ascribe to, yet I fully understand frustration of the Narnian creatures in C.S.Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe who bemoan the fact that, under the rule of the white witch, it was ‘always winter yet never Christmas’.

So, is Christmas date sensitive?  Does it have a ‘best before’ stamp?!

I think one of the deepest ideas Christians celebrate in this Feast of Christ’s Birth is that of the transformative Presence of God – that ‘alongsideness’ which is encapsulated in the name Immanuel -God is with us.

This week folk will have returned to work, getting back into routine, having operations, facing challenges-  and God is with us as much now, at the beginning of 2018 as when we sang Silent Night in church on Christmas Eve.

We may soon be boxing up the decorations and recycling the cards, yet the essence of Christmas – that presence of love and light is surely to be welcomed and cherished every day of the year.

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