Canon Paul Williams, vicar of our new mission partner church in Fulwood, writes:
Christmas greetings to you all in Oughtibridge, from us all at Christ Church Fulwood.
I love Christmas – always have. I love the chance to spend time with family, the time to play games and relax together. I love the succulent turkey and the moist Christmas pudding & brandy sauce at lunch time. And of course I love the presents – always have. As a little boy I used to get so excited – still do. When I was a lad, I was so eager for the big day to arrive I was unbearable – still am!
Back then, it was all about the presents and especially the big ones. As I eyed-up the presents under the brightly decorated tree, it was the huge ones that really took my fancy. To see a label with my name attached to the biggest present was enough to tip me over the edge into a frenzy of hyper-excitement and drive everyone up the wall. Since then, I’ve become convinced that good things come in small packages (and that’s not just because I’m barely 5 foot 6 inches myself).
The small presents are often the most valuable – and that’s certainly true at Christmas. The festive season is all about a small package, a baby. Not just any baby, but Jesus, “the Word made flesh” as the apostle John puts it. What is so amazing about this small package is that, “Through Him all things were made.” (italics mine). That is the staggering claim of Christmas.
There are apparently 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Our sun is 150 trillion miles from the centre of our galaxy. Our galaxy is just one of a cluster of 30 galaxies. Altogether it is estimated there are over 100 billion galaxies and each galaxy has over 100 billion stars.
At Christmas, the one who created this vast universe we marvel at, became a baby and lived among us. Good things do indeed come in small packages. If that is enough to blow your mind, why He came is even more astounding. Understanding why Jesus came to this tiny blue green planet is what makes this little package so remarkable and so valuable.
Grasping that Christmas and Easter are inextricably linked together finally convinces me that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. When someone explained it to me for the first time, it changed Christmas - and come to that the rest of my life - forever. Suddenly everything made sense.
May it all make sense to you this Christmas, as you worship the little package that not only made the world, but can change your world, for good and forever.
A very Happy Christmas and New Year to you all.