Christmas Eve is one of my favourite days of the year. I love the bustle of the last minute preparations and the sense of satisfaction when the house is full of the smell of freshly baked mince pies, the last few cards have been hand-delivered and it’s impossible to do any more shopping! At some point during the day I usually try to snatch a quiet moment with a cup of tea to remember Christmases past, to anticipate the joy of Christmas day itself and to think of loved ones who are no longer with us or who are far away. They seem very close in the midst of all that traditional ‘Christmas-y-ness’.
Those few moments are very precious indeed because they bring stillness in the midst of so much doing. They help me to see Christmas in its proper perspective not only as a wonderful time to enjoy family, friends, presents, food and drink but also as a time to remember that God loves each and every one of us so much that he sent us the Prince of Peace in the form of a tiny baby. And as I think of the infectious peacefulness of a sleeping newborn I feel my heartbeat slow and my anxieties quieten.
Many of us would put peace in our world at the top of our Christmas list and, in Jesus, the baby born in Bethlehem, God gives us ‘exactly what we wanted’: peace of heart and mind that will equip us to be the peacemakers our world so desperately needs.
Wishing you joy and peace for Christmas and 2019.
Reverend Miri Keen