Christmas starts with Christ
I find this slogan or challenge really helpful at this time of year. It was used last year and has been appropriately resurrected. With all the rush and bustle of Christmas, it is sometimes hard to keep the focus on Jesus.
The commercial pressure seems to get stronger every year. So we now have ‘Black Friday’ when there are bargains to be had, and there is pressure to ‘shop while you can’. I was interested to find out why this day got its name. It is of course tied into Thanksgiving in America, being the day after. One theory is that because of the great celebrations on Thanksgiving Thursday, record number of people called in sick, hence employers called it ‘Black Friday’.
Most people appreciate a bargain, but when you see the crowds fighting to get into stores and then arguing who got to the bargain first, it is a black day; when selfishness comes to the fore rather than a generosity that is about finding appropriate gifts for others. Another pressure on us is targeted advertising. Don’t you find it uncomfortable if after you have researched something, adverts for it keep popping up on our computer screens?
We have a number of good traditions that make this a special time; such as giving and receiving presents to show that we care. On the 6th December we have our St Nicholas day service when we bring presents for children who do not otherwise receive much, which are distributed by Barnardo’s. Another tradition is singing carols, old and new that tell the story and encourage us. There are a number of occasions to join in with that advertised in this magazine. There are some for all different ages and at different times so that at least one should be convenient. Coming together at this time will help us think about not only receiving the gift of Christ afresh for ourselves but also being willing to share the good news and spirit of goodwill. Please take the opportunity to come and join us.
Rev Bill Henderson