Some things look great on the outside but are disappointing within – the wrapping can be shiny and colourful but the contents turn out to be second-rate. What we hoped and expected to be solid and valuable can end up being hollow and worthless. Perhaps that is how you sometimes feel about Christmas? There is plenty of glitter and decoration on the surface – but you are not sure that underneath it there is any real truth or meaning.
For many people Christmas is indeed hollow with nothing inside the fancy wrapping. Apparently, over a third of UK children do not know whose birth we celebrate at Christmas and half of adults reckon that the birth of Jesus is irrelevant to Christmas. This reminds me of a child who opens a gift and is uninterested by the expensive contents and simply wants to play with the box!
On the other hand, sometimes packages which seem uninteresting on the outside can contain the most wonderful and surprising gifts. This seems like a much better picture of Christmas for me. We may be bored of Santa and tinsel and crackers – but the message of Christmas is never boring. It is all about God coming into our world in Jesus so that he could share in our joys and our suffering; bear the penalty of our wrongdoing; and give us a new and fulfilling life. If we look into the historical events which we celebrate at Christmas then we will find not only truth but “good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10).
Come and meet us on our stall at the Hartley Wintney Christmas Market on Thursday 3rd December between 4 pm and 8 pm to receive a free Christmas gift – a tiny Christmas tree which is more than it seems. We would also love to tell you more about the truth at the heart of Christmas. So why not come and celebrate Christmas with us? At our carol services on Sunday 20th December (10:30am and 6:30pm) and on Christmas morning (10:30am) we will be singing familiar Christmas carols and remembering the true meaning of Christmas together.