It’s eight thirty on Christmas evening here in New South Wales. Yesterday we spent the afternoon experiencing torrential rain, thunder, lightning and in some areas of our rural town, flash flooding.
This morning at church, we sang carols, and then listened to a timely reminder of a sermon. I’m now sitting typing, listening to an Andre Rieu Christmas concert.
It’s been a funny year. Funny in all kinds of ways – sad, happy, exciting, scary, and constantly changing.
I have no idea how you and yours celebrate this season. Across the world, Christmas is celebrated in many different ways. For some cultures, Christmas doesn’t even exist, and in others, like ours, in many ways it’s changed enormously.
Even in my lifetime, the celebration of Christmas in Australia has morphed into something quite different to the celebration I remember from my childhood.
We’re a bit haphazard, and rather relaxed. We used to have a large Christmas tree, but the cat climbed it so many times it gave in and developed a dangerous lean, so we had to retire it. Nowadays, we have a tree cleverly made from an old pallet. We go to church in the morning, and have a morning tea there, and then head home for lunch. Lunch happens around 1pm, and is usually mostly cold, (for those of you who aren’t Australians, be reassured, this is quite normal in Australia, although some do have hot Christmas) and is generally topped off with ice cream pudding. Then we laze around.
This morning’s reflection at church reminded me that for those of us who subscribe to Christian belief, Christmas first and foremost is about God incarnate.
By God incarnate, I mean God come to earth in the form of a baby, to grow, to age and to live as a man, in the fullness of humanity. And then to die, as must all of us, in order to reconcile God and man.
The story is grand, epic in scale, and for me, full of meaning.
No matter where you are, or what your beliefs might be, let me just say Merry Christmas to you, or Happy Hanukkah, or enjoy your Yuletide, Solstice, or even your family day. And many thank yous for popping along to this blog and reading my meanderings.