“Christmas! The tree! The presents! The cards! The food and drink! The parties! A time for family and friends to get together to celebrate“.
It’s what it’s all about isn’t it? That’s absolutely right because at the centre of Christmas is a family – not the perfect family in the television adverts, doing Christmas in style and having a good time without a care in the world but a family two thousand years ago. A family out of which came the reason for this wonderful time of celebration and joy - the birth of a baby.
That baby was born of love, the love of God, for all of us, His children.
That baby was raised in love: the love of his mother Mary, who had the faith and trust in God to do her best to raise and care for her precious son; the love of Joseph, who though the child wasn’t his, took that baby boy to his heart and became his father on earth.
They had more than their share of hardships and sorrow but it was their love of each other and their love of God and His love for them that got them through even the worst of times when, at the end of his earthly life, their son, Jesus, gave His life out of love for all of us, His family.
Just like the Holy Family, things today in families and groups of friends can get pretty desperate and we can all feel alone and unloved at times. There’s no instruction book that guarantees a trouble-free life but celebrating and sharing in the love that came to us all that very first Christmas can make a real, positive difference.
We’re all part of God’s family and everyone is welcome to be part of the St Stephen’s branch of His family at any time of the year but especially this Christmas.
There’s a variety of services over the Christmas weekend and we’d love to see you – no need to knock – just walk in – you’re family!
A Blessed and Happy Christmas to you all.