As I write I have just read in a newspaper that “We shall have Christmas!”. What do the newspaper mean by this? Well they are telling us that the Government is going to give us a brief period to meet up at Christmas time. Given the danger the virus poses reducing the restrictions is risky and may lead to more deaths but as one politician pointed out cancelling Christmas was never going to be possible because to do so would be “political suicide” Politicians think that people are desperate to spend time with family and close friends. So, they think if they didn’t allow people to meet up, people might ignore any law to the contrary and meet up anyway. Human beings find social distancing difficult because we are social animals. By and large we need and want to be together with others. Despite all the conflicts that do break out at Christmas time when family members with different out looks and opinions meet up after a year apart. We still want to be together. It is ingrained in us. As Christians we believe that this desire is given to us by the God who made us. At Christmas time we remember how God could not bare to be separated from us and so came to us in the baby born in Bethlehem. God, to use a different image to be found at the beginning of John’s gospel God has “pitched his tent among us”. I am sure there is a law against that at the moment! Yet as I have said before God does not do social distancing. Just as we love awkward relatives who are sometimes difficult to get on with, God wants to be with us and loves us. Despite all of our faults God chooses to meet with us and become one with us Christ. This is what we celebrate at Christmas time. So yes, we shall have our Christmas but not because a newspaper has announced a government decree. It is because our God has chosen to be “with us” and this will always be true whether we will spend Christmas alone in our homes or surround by crowds of relatives and friends.
Loving God thank you for coming to be with us through Christ born as a baby in Bethlehem.
As we meet with one another, help us to remember that you are always with us, even when we think we are alone.