Rector's Newsletter

 Rector's Newsletter - December 2019

  ‘Christmas is for the children…’

 

Have you, like me, heard people say – ‘Christmas is for the children’? In some ways it’s a little sad if, as adults, they’re saying this because they don’t want all the hype, fuss and bother that surrounds this time of year – the relentless commercialisation of Christmas. It could also say something of how they miss the Christmases of their own childhood, reminiscing about a bygone era. It could also mean that, in their opinion, only children would believe the ‘fantasy’ that is the story of Christmas.

 

In one way they’re quite right in saying that ‘Christmas is for the children’ because this is what Jesus asks us to become – children. He doesn’t say that we should become childish, but childlike. In fact, he tells the disciples that unless we become like children then we won’t get into the Kingdom of Heaven. And to prove that he became a child himself, putting himself into the hands of poor parents in a stable of all places, in a backwater town.

I’m sure that you’ve noticed how children have the amazing ability to be falling out and fighting one minute, then best of friends the next? Have you noticed how some adults can hold petty grudges for years? Could it be that perhaps children have a much more mature way of dealing with hurts? – sort it out then play again as friends as if nothing had happened. When is it that we get it knocked out of us that forgiving others is a bad, foolish, naïve and childish way to behave? Jesus calls us to become like little children.

Have you noticed how children see the world in a very different way to adults? They see the awe and wonder of God’s creation; in a simple butterfly or a shooting star. They see such beauty in the things we take for granted. I don’t think that we take enough time to be like children and wonder like a little child. Jesus calls us to become like little children.

Most grownups tend to rush by the Christmas manger in order to reach that so-called ‘perfect Christmas’ goal. They don’t always stop to wonder about WHO he is and WHY he came – the two most important questions of all time! We grownups seem to have stopped wondering and started wandering! Jesus calls us to become like little children.

And yet when we were children the Christmas Story was so much richer and deeper. Years ago, it seemed to have much more meaning – back when we were like little children.

Jesus calls us to be like little children in our preparations, not only for Christmas, but for our whole lives. He calls us to look again with awe and wonder at the world around us, to look deeper into the world he has created. He calls us to look with the eyes of little children at the Christmas Story and to make it glisten and sparkle like it once did. To discover again WHO Jesus is and WHY he came at Christmas time. 

 

No matter how many years there are behind us, we will always be children of our heavenly Father, and when someone says ‘Christmas is for the children’ we can agree with them – because that includes us too!

With every blessing this Christmastide.   

Paul

The Revd Paul Wilson

 

Rector of the Benefice of the Epworth Group of Churches