Minister's Letter Boldmere Church
It is possible to make out that Christmas is a very warm and comfortable time of the year. The warm fireside, the Christmas tree with the presents under it, lots of good food to eat and lots of nice things to drink.
The picture is very attractive, but it bears pretty much no relation to the first Christmas, with a baby born in a stable because there was no room in the inn. Nor does the tinsel and glitter of Christmas capture the meaning of Christ’s coming to share our life with us.
Taking on human flesh and living amongst us meant that Jesus had to be born, he had to grow up, and in the end he had to die. Jesus’ death was at the hands of other people, not a peaceful, natural death in a bed, but an exposed and violent death on a cross.
This Christmas baby, Jesus, reminds us that many people live more insecure and vulnerable lives than we do. There will be people this Christmas who are homeless, hungry and cold. We might want to remember the people this year who have been affected by an increase in violence in our country and communities. I am particularly aware of the families of the often young people who have been affected by knife crime.
Jesus, who takes on our flesh, does not separate God from us, but draws God very close indeed – close enough to know how it feels to be like you and me – and Jesus draws close at Christmas to those who are suffering.
It’s not that we should be sad at Christmas, quite the reverse, but it isn’t the turkey and the trimmings that are the best news – though they are pretty good news… and we will be having a Circuit Christmas Dinner at St Chads Erdington on 25th December this year. The best news is that we are never alone. Christmas proves that whatever our hardship as a human being, God is not remote and uninterested, but God, in the child who was born in Bethlehem, has come close and continues to come close. Jesus was born that night so that we might know God’s deep love and grace.
May this Christmas be a blessed one for each of us!