Sunday, 18 December 2011

Glory to God


Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying:
'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.'  Luke 2:13-14

To be honest, I find Christmas a time of greatly mixed feelings.  On the one hand, it's chance to reflect again on the beginning of the central story of the Christian faith, that God sent his son to be born among us, to bring us life.  And given my own thankfulness for my granddaughter's recent birth, that story this year has a special relevance.  It was a delight to see it enacted once again by members of our church, including the youth group, in our third 'Walking Nativity'.  You'll see we have some angels among us!

On the other hand, every year I seem to feel increasingly uncomfortable with the excesses with which we are urged to celebrate the festival.  Magazines full of recipes, presents, ideas for decorations seem to make Christmas something of a competitive sport.  I know there are many people who have a real gift for making Christmas special for their families and children and I'm not knocking that.  Nor am I deriding the joy and meaning that comes from dusting off the family's traditions and decorations - and the memories that come with them.  It just seems sad that the Christmas story (to me anyway) holds the antidote to the emptiness that it seems some people try to fill with alcohol, food or lavish spending - and yet time and again we fail to make the connection. 

To use that wonderful American expression... Just sayin'...

10 comments:

  1. I agree with your "just sayin'..." I've gone through phases in my feelings about Christmas over the years, now I'm sort of back to just accepting that this holiday comes with a very strange mix of traditions - of which some are more important to me than others.

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  2. I reached your point a long time ago. For many years, the midnight Christmas Eve service was all that salvaged the holiday, but we left that behind when we moved up on the mountain. Now it is getting the family together for an-all-too-brief visit, and keeping it all as simple as we can.

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  3. Couldn't agree more! Every year, I try to tone down the excesses a little more without throwing out the good traditions which add to the family Christmas. The skill is in knowing which are which.

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  4. I think you only really enjoy Christmas when you are a child. Maybe this year will be different as my little grandson is 14 months old and walks around and we celebrate in my son's new house he bought in Amsterdam.

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  5. I am not especially religious, but I love the warmth and traditions of Christmas. I think you pick the pieces that mean something to you and ignore the others.

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  6. All to true. There are two Christmases: the religious and the basically commercial. Maybe a third Christmas: getting together with family and friends.

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  7. Hi Jenny .. just what I was thinking earlier on today - 'keeping up with the Jones'' .. whomever they may be .. ?!

    The simple easiest time of all - traditions too play a part and keep those memories going .. but it's all those way too many extras .. unnecessary - and take time for the poor old host/hostess .. who gets no time to stop and stare and be ..

    Wonderful post and picture .. enjoy your time ... especially with your new granddaughter .. Happy Christmas and New Year - Hilary

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  8. Your "just saying" resonates. The commercial side of Christmas has become a big burden for many individuals and families who just can't keep up with the hyped-up expectations. And that makes me sad.

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  9. That is exactly the point and i appreciate you pointing it out. The photo is wonderful.

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  10. Well said Jenny! I do love seeing the angel wings in this pic. ~Lili

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