Happy Christmas

This advent, as we’ve been preparing to celebrate, I have been reading Revelation, along with those who come along to 9:30am prayers.  I’ve found myself noticing how the story of Christmas is entwined with the hope of Jesus’ return and of everything being put right. The king who came at Christmas, as a little baby – vulnerably, weak, small, is the king who works to establish justice and mercy and goodness fully.  

Jesus often described the kingdom of God as a feast.  Perhaps our celebrations this weekend might be feasts that anticipate the final celebration when God makes everything good again.  Perhaps our acts of joy, generosity and fun over the next few days can be acts of defiance against the night: just as strange and powerful as our prayers for healing, our attempts to bring justice, our work inspired by God’s call.  

I’ve been enjoying this prayer over the last few weeks.  From ‘A LITURGY TO MARK THE START OF THE CHRISTMAS SEASON’ in Every Moment Holy vol 1

‘Our glittering ornaments and Christmas trees,
Our festive carols, our sumptuous feasts—
By these small tokens we affirm
that something amazing has happened
in time and space—
that God, on a particular night,
in a particular place, so many years ago,
was born to us, an infant King, our Prince of Peace.’

‘As we feast and laugh and sing together,
we are rehearsing our coming joy!
We are making ready to receive the one
who has already, with open arms, received us!

We would prepare you room
here in our hearts
and here in our home,
Lord Christ.

Now we celebrate your first coming, Immanuel,
even as we long for your return.
O Prince of Peace, our elder brother,
return soon. We miss you so!’