5 December 2022
We are in the Advent season, the preparation for what Christians celebrate as the anchoring of our calendars, our years and our lives, the arrival of Christ as King. It’s a period of hope and expectation, of finding yourself in a story of Life. So what does Christmas mean? For me it is a place of light, of searching, of wonder. Hear thoughts from our Mission Lead Sarah Yardley.
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I found this image in Portugal, walking the Camino, struck by the brilliance of the ever-subversive Banksy capturing the balance of a holiday that has been capitalised into a place of our desire but was once an image of God entering our wounded world.
We are in the Advent season, the preparation for what Christians celebrate as the anchoring of our calendars, our years and our lives, the arrival of Christ as King. It’s a period of hope and expectation, of finding yourself in a story of Life. So what does Christmas mean? For me it is a place of light, of searching, of wonder.
There’s a beautiful line from one of my favorite Christmas hymns, O Holy Night:
A thrill of hope,
The weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks
A new and glorious morn.
Christmas speaks to me about the inbreaking light of God. The follower of Jesus holds in tension these two realities:
The people who sit in darkness – pain, fear, suffering, broken edges, loss. But have seen a great light – joy, hope, peace, presence.
Luke 1:76-79 anticipates the life of Jesus, the one who is the light of the whole world with these words:
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Luke 1:76-79 ESV
Darkness obscures, covers, restricts and removes but light clarifies, reveals, and exposes. The invitation of the people of God is to live in the light of knowing we are loved.
Glen Scrivener describes it this way; “When love sees the beloved in trouble, love says: your pit will be my pit.”
So Jesus is love come down, to be our brother, to be with us in the darkness, to take our death, to plunge it into hell, and then to offer life and light through resurrection to all people.”
The story of the arrival of Christ in scripture is littered with the image of searching:
Christmas is where we are found in our searching. There are at two categories of searchers:
Your searching and questions are safe with Jesus. I pray that they are safe in your churches and communities, that you know how at home God and His people are with our doubts, fears, and longings. Christmas is the place where we are found in all our searching. When we are found. Christ always leads my heart to wonder.
One of our team recently gasped with delight at a meal shared with a Pixar illustrator. We heard stories from behind the scenes about the meticulous details of the animation process, the excellence, the care. Her wonder reminded me to search and find the daily wonder of simply knowing we are loved.
So collect your longings. Examine your hopes. And ask yourself:
What might it look like to carry a sense of wonder this Christmas season?
For some, this is simply to receive the light of Christ. His love is eternally towards you. For others, it is to seek to be found in our searching. And for all, it is an invitation to wonder; joy to the world; the Lord is come.