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Christmas 2003

Journeys can be full of interest, particularly if it is not your habit to travel around much. Here we live in these placid surroundings, surrounded by trees and grass and not far from a local Park of several acres. So, for us, a journey is always an event. We are going to have to get used to being travellers of course when we leave here next April! Meanwhile we are celebrating Christmas with everyone else in the Western world. The mixture of midwinter celebration (here in the Northern hemisphere!) and religious feast, is of course a challenging point for everyone. Just what is Christmas about?

From the Christian point of view it is the celebration of God known in Jesus Christ. In an important way it is about a journey. Can we say that God made this journey to us in Christ? Here we are up against a host of problems well known to the Christian controversies about the nature of Jesus - how he can be truly man and also truly God - which go back to the first century. At any rate we can say that, from what the gospels tell us, Jesus did reveal what God is like in his own person. Jesus was born into the world because God loved the world and was determined to make all things new in and through the life of Jesus. God has made the essential journey to find us.

One so often hears of people making spiritual journeys to find God or to become more 'spiritual'. It is, in fact, Jesus, the Lord, who comes to meet us where we are at some point in our life. But it is up to us to respond, to say 'Yes, Lord, I will follow with you for the rest of my life.' And it is in Christian worship, 'in Christ', that we give praise and thanks to the Father for setting us on the way. In this we become witnesses of Jesus as Lord and to the present kingdom of the Father.

It is true, of course, that this is only the beginning. We grow in the knowledge of God as we follow with Jesus. We mature as Christians and can become confident, as the years go on, of the route of our journey which God has set out for us.

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