From now on, until the 26th of December this shall be my Christmas blog. It will be shiny, with baubles, swimming in mulled wine, sinking in mince pies and delighting in everything to do with Christmas. I unapologetically love December.
It’s not so much the Christmas thing, lets face it, the actual day is always a slight let down, especially when I’m feeling slightly Bridget Jonesish about the whole thing this year. But let that not detract from the jubilation before the day itself. In fact, I might just forget the day and concentrate on the 21 days of celebration in the run up to the day. So lets ignore Christmas day itself (no Mum, I still want presents…) and embrace the 21 days left. It’s not so much a build up to something but more an enjoyment of each day as it comes, living in the moment kind of thing.
Today my Christmas enjoyment came from going to my last Sussex CU carol service. This was by far and away the best one, and not just because they had Adrian Plass to speak. My head isn’t in the best of states right now, but I think Advent, Christmas, the whole Jesus coming to earth thing is the stuff that can clear away the fog. There’s a reason for that. This whole December/Christmas thing is about the God of the universe coming to be with us. To be with us. Immanuel. There isn’t any other word that can send shivers up my spine like that one. God with us. Demonstrating his pure unconditional love. Coming to his enemies. Coming to the hurt, the broken, the lost, the blind, the lame. The shepherd seeking out his sheep. The light in the darkness. The images are overwhelming. The reality matters. God has come for you and me. That’s worth throwing back your head and singing loudly:
“Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel.”
“Oh come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Immanuel”