Christmas is many people’s favourite season because at its heart it has a little baby. Christmas is a season of pretty things of all kinds, from bobbles on Christmas Trees, to full shop windows or Christmas lights. This year at St Mary’s Priory we had the church wonderfully decorated in flowers depicting the whole story from Gabriel’s announcement of Jesus birth through to his Presentation in the Temple.
Yet the reality of that first Christmas was very different , it was messy, very messy. Mary and Joseph were just an ordinary couple living in a small village in Galilee, suddenly their lives were thrown in to disruption be the announcement that Mary was expecting a baby out of wedlock;and that she had to travel, in her pregnant state, for two days on the back of a donkey so they could complete the census ordered by their Roman masters. When things seemed as if they could not get any worse, they did. Being unable to find any where to stay in Bethlehem she had to give birth in the dark and damp conditions of an animal shed.
So here in this story, if we dig down deep enough, we will find discrimination, homelessness, pain and oppression. Jesus choose to come as one of us – and that included all the complications of human life.
For many this Christmas will be one of sadness. Some others will have spent money they have not got, because of peer pressure, to be part of the pretty things of Christmas. We must remember them, and remember that Jesus Christ, whose birthday we celebrate came so that we all would have LOVE and have it in abundance.
Fr Mark Soady