Christmas. Ah yes, that time of year when we celebrate all that is good, right and wonderful in the world. You know, things like giving, loving, sharing, laughing, feasting, celebrating etc.
Oh sure, it is way too commercialised, and somewhere along the way the central character has become a jolly, old, fat man with a beard and red-suit. But ultimately it’s all about togetherness, family, charity, hope, miracles, and caring for others.
Of course, many will be quick to say: “Yes, yes, that’s all well and good, but where is Jesus?”
In Matthew 18, Jesus, while speaking on reconciliation says “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst”.
Also James writes in his letter that religion that is pleasing to God cares for the needy such as orphans and widows.
And the writer John says very plainly that he who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
So coming back to the question “where is Jesus in the midst of all this gift-giving, celebrating, BBQing, beach-cricketing, donating, peace-making, generosity, joy-giving and all the other great things that happen at Christmas?”.
The answer is, in my opinion, right in the middle of it.
That’s what makes the Christmas story so powerful to me. Ultimately it’s a story about the God whom the world did not know, showing up in the most unexpected fashion and saying “I’m right here with you”.
May you have a wonderful Christmas, and may you see the God who is with us in the most incredible and unexpected ways this year, because I believe that Jesus’ presence is often realized in ways that often catch us by surprise.