Wait for it...
The waiting is over. The Christmas trees are up. The John Lewis advert is out and the lights are just about to be switched on. If you haven't decided what you’re eating for Christmas Day, where you are going to be staying and what you want Santa to bring you, then you should definitely start to panic. Because this year, other than the small distraction of an election, if we spend enough money and switch on enough sparkly lights then Christmas is going to be perfect! But...
None of that has anything to do with Christmas. Apart from the very first word in the title. Wait.
The Christian Festival of Christmas is not about consumption, or sparkly lights, although there is one of those in the story. It's not about resolving climate change by spending money as if there is no tomorrow, oh the irony. It's not about short lived political pledges, that may or may not change tomorrow. It's not about the rush by our own effort to make everything perfect, or just manage it well so we can cope with having the mother-in-law stay.
It is the fact that 2000 years ago in a forgotten part of the Roman Empire, in an out of the way village, God stepped into the world as a human being. His birth was celebrated by a few outcast Shepherds who would briefly come in from the cold. Their response was to worship this newborn King, not fill their trollies to overflowing from the local supermarket.
But there is also a bit that comes before the Christian Christmas. It is a time of preparation. Not getting ready for the relatives or thinking about what to eat for Christmas dinner. But waiting - the season of advent. Where we wait again in anticipation for the arrival of the King of Kings. We prepare our hearts to worship, not at the altar of consumption, but in wonder that God has chosen to move in to the creation he has made and make his dwelling among us.
So I invite you to pause, to wait, to prepare yourself for Christmas in the most important way. Be still, watch, pray, wait, for the King of King is coming and you will find him in a manger.
We would love to invite you to experience Christmas at All Saints. Find out more here