Ha ha ha, or ho ho ho, was my response. It wasn’t curmudgeonly, it was anguish at the saccharine version of the great historico-redemptive event’s wholesale sell-out in western culture, even the Church of all places.
We have been reading 1 Corinthains as a Church and it challenges us to face the dangers of fitting into culture so much that you become indistinguishable from it – going native as it were. The Corinthian Christians were just like the Corinthian non-Christians. Ok, we are normal people, we don’t have three eyes or do strange hand shakes, but we do have a remarkable message which affects the way we live life at a profound level. Christmas-time is no exception, on the contrary.
We have spent the last three Sundays looking in the morning in Corinthians, chapter 7 which deals with family life, marriage, singleness, divorce, bereavement, infidelity etc. It has been a very helpful reminder as this season begins of the key relationships that under-gird life and the need to value them in the will of God.
The reading for the Communion service last night was Luke 2:8-20, the first of the ‘Christmassy’ passage readings of the season, and not the last. The angels and the Shepherds – surely this must have more to say to us than to provide an outline for a nativity play. We need to preach the word, in and out of season, and not allow filters to come between us and what God would say to us by it.
You can rehear these messages here: Sermon Page. Judge for yourself.
This Christmas, as the evident gap in people’s knowledge between what is tradition and what is truth deepens, as families try to gather, and decorations come out to brighten homes, while retailers seek to capitalise on all this good will, come along to Church as normal, to seek God as normal, to find grace as normal, and yes, there will be carols, and yes the odd mice pie, and yes we’ll have a short service on Dec. 25th at 10:00. To those for whom coming out to worship the risen King together is not normal, our prayer is that you might meet Him and love Him and follow and enjoy Him forever – a gift that never fades.
Have a GREAT Christmas.