Preaching at St Mary’s Priory Church’s Christmas Services the Vicar, Canon Mark Soady, will say:
I am not among those people who complain about Christmas having become to secular – after all December 25th started out as a pagan festival. No on actually knew what day Jesus was born on, in the stable in Bethlehem two thousand years ago, so the early Christians took over the the Saturnalia Festival. The Festival celebrated the new light as the days started to get longer again, and so the early Christians used it to celebrate the birth of the light of the world. Jesus speaks of himself as “I am the light”.
For many of us these days feel very dark: the uncertainty of a President Trump, life after Brexit, terrorist acts almost daily, the ongoing carnage in Aleppo…..and much more.
As Jesus came in to the darkness of the people’s lives two thousands years ago, so he comes in to the darkness of our life today – if we allow him in. God humbled himself to come to us, he came as baby so he could make himself more accessible to us, we must now respond to that humble act by embracing God. We must embrace God by trying to become more like him.
If we have become distant to God Christmas is a time to re-engage with him. As the sending of a Christmas card helps us to re-engage with our friends we have lost, so meeting the Christ Child afresh this night enables us to rebuild our relationship with God.
`The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it’
The Gospel of John