Saturday, December 27, 2008
First sight ...
However, I recognise in the picture accompanying this post that the moment shown here is a special one. We've been to church - not only at midnight, but again in the morning. We've had coffee. The house is still tidy and the parcels sit neatly and invitingly under the tree. The turkey is cooking and the champagne is in the fridge and everyone is cheerfully expectant.
It is this moment that I have always looked back at with huge pleasure when I think of family celebrations. This is not a moment when I'm thinking of the Incarnation; this is a moment when life and God and belief are, for me, one; when I am wholly focussed on something lovely - the joy of giving and of seeing the wide-eyed expectancy on a child's face, even if the child in question really hasn't a clue what is going on. It is enough for her to be surrounded by people who are happy in each other's company and delighting in her.
I've just read a post on a church chat group which suggests that the true celebration of Christmas owes nothing to the season or the accoutrements we have accumulated. Of course I know that. But I would counter that if the God I know, the God who was content to be born as a child into this world, is not present in this moment, then I have been mistaken in my Advent hope.