This year, during December, I offer you the opportunity to walk backwards to Christmas. This will not be a dangerous exercise with risks of accident or loss of direction. It will be an
opportunity to think about the Nativity story from a different angle.
Instead of focusing on the chapters in the Bible that forecast the coming of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus we will refresh our understanding by thinking about Anna, Simeon, Rachel and Herod - people who encountered the Nativity after the birth of a tiny baby who was recognised as the Messiah, the Saviour.
I hope that those of us who take part in our weekly meetings about ‘walking backwards to Christmas’ will be able to see the birth of Jesus afresh. It will be an opportunity to explore the implications of recognising the wonder of God’s Christmas gift for us all.
We all face the risk that the Christmas story about the birth of Jesus Christ becomes little more than a story for children. It is lovely to see them dressed up as angels, shepherds, Mary and Joseph singing Little Donkey or Away in a Manger, and I hope Nativity carol services are enjoyed in towns and villages across this country and beyond. Yet, I hope that we can also use the weeks during December to seek and rediscover the real wonder of the gift of Christmas – a gift that does not have an expiry date, a gift that is a starting point for life lived afresh, with lasting wonder and hope.
May your Christmas find fulfilment beyond turkey, stuffing and Christmas pudding.