Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Thought for the day

This is my thought for the day for Radio Christmas this morning.  If you have come here because you have already heard it and want to know the answer (if you haven't ignore this bit!) then click to see more at the bottom.  If not then here it is!

Well. Here it is. Merry Christmas. Everybody’s having fun.

At least I hope that is the case. It is certainly true here at Radio Christmas, despite all the last minute panics to get ready, and I hope that it will be true for you as Christmas draws near. But Christmas can also be a difficult time – difficult for those who’ve recently lost jobs, difficult for those who’ve got ill relatives, difficult for those who’ve lost loved ones recently or at this time of year.

And perhaps it’s superficially difficult for those of us who have to pack extra shopping and partying into our already full lives. It’s all rather “Goodness, another year has gone by since last Christmas”.

And then of course there are the perils of Christmas Day itself “You’d better watch out”, “you’d better not cry” we find ourselves saying to children at 4 in the morning (if we aren’t careful).

I don’t want a lot for Christmas, but that doesn’t seem to make it any easier.

But I get ahead of myself – in church terms we are in Advent – and as churches we are watching and waiting – preparing. Not only for Christmas but also for the coming of Christ.

Now I don’t want to get all precious and stop people singing carols before Christmas, but I do want to encourage everyone to spend some time in the next 3 ½ weeks thinking about what Christmas means to them.

What – you say, another thing to add the long list that I’ve already got?

Well, do you know what is important to you about Christmas? Perhaps you do – but I suspect that many of us don’t!

Is it that Snow is falling all around us, children playing having fun, eating and drinking too much – or is it something else?

Of course with many of the things that we hold dear we can easily be disappointed “They said there’ll be snow at Christmas”, “they said there’ll be peace on earth”.

The birth of Jesus tells us that God loves us, loves us enough to send His Son to show us how to live. Not in a fearful way – but in a way that allows us to live our lives fully and fearlessly. Jesus birth and death show us that it isn’t what happens to us that gives or takes away our happiness, it is how we respond to those events. And if we are loved my experience is that we can cope with anything – and need be afraid of nothing.

And so this is Christmas, a vivid life giving example that God loves us; and in response may we be able to say: It’s Christmas time there’s no need to be afraid.

Oh – and it’s also time for a bit of fun – I don’t know whether you spotted them, but I quoted the first lines from 9 Christmas songs in this piece. If you want to find out where they were you can listen again on www.radiochristmas.co.uk or have a look at my blog: revdalan.blogspot.com.

Marked up copy below the fold.




Well.  Here it is.  Merry Christmas.  Everybody’s having fun.
At least I hope that is the case.  It is certainly true here at Radio Christmas, despite all the last minute panics to get ready, and I hope that it will be true for you as Christmas draws near.  But Christmas can also be a difficult time – difficult for those who’ve recently lost jobs, difficult for those who’ve got ill relatives, difficult for those who’ve lost loved ones recently or at this time of year.
And perhaps it’s superficially difficult for those of us who have to pack extra shopping and partying into our already full lives. It’s all rather “Goodness, another year has gone by since last Christmas”.
And then of course there are the perils of Christmas Day itself “You’d better watch out”, “you’d better not cry” we find ourselves saying to children at 4 in the morning (if we aren’t careful).
I don’t want a lot for Christmas, but that doesn’t seem to make it any easier.
But I get ahead of myself – in church terms we are in Advent – and as churches we are watching and waiting – preparing.  Not only for Christmas but also for the coming of Christ.
Now I don’t want to get all precious and stop people singing carols before Christmas, but I do want to encourage everyone to spend some time in the next 3 ½ weeks thinking about what Christmas means to them.
What – you say, another thing to add the long list that I’ve already got?
Well, do you know what is important to you about Christmas?  Perhaps you do – but I suspect that many of us don’t!
Is it that Snow is falling all around us, children playing having fun, eating and drinking too much – or is it something else?
Of course with many of the things that we hold dear we can easily be disappointed “They said there’ll be snow at Christmas”, “they said there’ll be peace on earth”.
The birth of Jesus tells us that God loves us, loves us enough to send His Son to show us how to live.  Not in a fearful way – but in a way that allows us to live our lives fully and fearlessly.  Jesus birth and death show us that it isn’t what happens to us that gives or takes away our happiness, it is how we respond to those events.  And if we are loved my experience is that we can cope with anything – and need be afraid of nothing.
And so this is Christmas, a vivid life giving example that God loves us; and in response may we be able to say:  It’s Christmas time there’s no need to be afraid.
Oh – and it’s also time for a bit of fun – I don’t know whether you spotted them, but I quoted the first lines from 9 Christmas songs in this piece.  If you want to find out where they were you can listen again on www.radiochristmas.co.uk or have a look at my blog: revdalan.blogspot.com.

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