As we come into the Winter season, days shorten, the last of the
leaves fall and we see creation in all its vulnerable beauty. We
also enter into the season of Advent – that time of preparation
for the coming of Christ into the world. Others are preparing in
different ways – some are using the period of lockdown to write
their Christmas cards and start their preparations for Christmas,
buying gifts online.
Yet, I wonder what is more important presents or presence?
Many of us have missed face to face connection with friends and
family- screen time and phone calls are OK from a distance, but
there is something about being with your loved ones, of being in
the same room, sharing the same space, seeing each other face
to face that makes all the difference. Presents are OK but they
can’t replace presence.
Our bible is filled with people who were longing for presence –
they were waiting for a promised one who would be a gift of love
to the world. God knows how important presence is for us, and
so didn’t speak from a distance. Instead God came himself in
Jesus, as one of us – to live among us, share the ups and downs
of our human life, became present with us.
Matthew says this:
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call
him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23
We hope there will be an opportunity to see and be with loved
ones over the Christmas period, but we can all be assured of
Christ’s presence with us. We are never alone.
At Christmas, presents are nice but presence is even better.
May God bless you and yours this Christmas – together and
apart – and may you know the loving presence of Jesus – born
for us, walking with us, a gift to us and to the world. Good news!
Your friend and minister