It’s 29 days until Christmas and the mad rush of the silly season has begun.
For many weeks decorations have been visible in shops and cafes and starting to appear outside homes, a huge range of gifts and cards to indulge our every buying need adorn the shelves and parties are starting early.
Soon it will be time to erect the Christmas tree, send the greeting cards, emails and texts, wrap the pressies, prepare the festive food and attend the annual Carol Service.
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year gathering together celebrating love, hope, peace, family.
But ... there is more, much more.
Christ-mas is about Christ and worship in faith. Central to our celebrations is the birth of the Son of God, born of a human mother, Mary and nurtured by a foster father, Joseph.
It is about the most wonderful gift that could ever be given — God’s gift of life to all the world, the beginning of a divine and human covenant that brings fullness of life on earth and the even greater fullness of eternal life in heaven for all who believe and follow the Son.
The shepherds came from the fields to worship the Son of God, the wise men came from distant lands some time later to worship Christ, born as a king and yet as a servant — Lord and Saviour and Messiah entering this world, lying in a manger in a humble stable.
This is the real celebration of Christmas and the reason for the gifts, the gathering together and the sharing of food and life. We are sharing the awesome gift of new life, Jesus Christ, who is the reality and centre of all love, hope, peace, each person and family.
In all the preparations in the next 29 days remember the real reason for CHRISTmas.
~ Contributed by Rev Wayne Sheean of St Paul’s Anglican Church, on behalf of the Combined Churches of Deniliquin.