Another thoughtful and inspiring guest post from Mel Taylor. Thanks for sharing your gifts with us, Mel!
I keep hearing, ‘Christmas is for the children’. No,no no, I really don’t think it is. I love Christmas. Mike loves Christmas. We’re big kids, maybe, but Christmas is definitely not just for children. So I’ve been wondering who is Christmas for, then?
Preceded by Advent, Christmas is for people to remember our Christian patriarchs, the prophets, John the Baptist, Mary, Jesus. We remember Jesus every day of our lives, but at this time of year, Christmas may help us to remember the faith God has in His peoples’ capacity for love, to protect Him, surround Him [as the visitors to the stable did] with honour, glory and awe. His tiny fingerprint in a massive world of His creation. Jesus entering the detail, the beginning of salvation, and the exchange of the most profound nourishment between servant and King.
Christmas is for people who respond to an annual event. The search for presents, good recipes, where we put the star from last year, a decent film, nativity costumes, snow boots, a father Christmas who doesn’t fidget with his beard…
Christmas is for people who are searching. I remember when my children were babies. I could put them down on the rug, leave the room for the loo, and they’d be in exactly the same spot as I left them. I didn’t have to search. The shepherds, all those years ago, didn’t have to search for very long to find baby Jesus. The Magi did search for many years before Jesus’ birth, and for their first meeting with Him. Later, when Jesus was a boy, Mary and Joseph searched for Him when all the time Jesus was in ‘His Father’s House’. Babies give us brand new meaning. They shift our perspective and purpose for doing things, or not doing things. It’s the most fulfilling, extraordinary love, and yet here is Jesus Christ. Here He is! Our new-born redeemer, swaddled saviour, nursed nurturer. So maybe, Christmas is for people who are searching: in faith, for answers, love, understanding, deeper meaning, deeper relationships. I’m searching for the quietness (what are the chances?), stillness where I can try to love Jesus more. A search for that trust when I hand myself over fully, without reservation to His infant purity, to brand new life.
So maybe, next time you or I hear someone say ‘Christmas is for children’, we can say, ‘Nar, Christmas is for everybody.’