Luke 1.30-31 ‘The angel said to her. Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus.’
Dear friends, Christmas is truly a magical time, a time of wonder and surprise, a time when the most amazing stories are told and we discover that some of them are actually real and, if we let them - life changing! You only have to have a child in the house at Christmas to see afresh the wonder of Christmas time.
Sadly for some of us we have lost something of the mystery and wonder of Christmas. Maybe, this year we can look with fresh eyes and listen with open hearts to grasp the wonder and marvel of God being born into the very same world as we live - then we may discover again the bigger, fuller and more wonderful life God has in store for us.
Just like in C.S. Lewis’s story ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, as the children step through the wardrobe, so a new world opens up before them. In the same way, the story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem is a doorway for us to a life beyond the mundane. If we are willing to believe in Christ and welcome his birth among us, each of us can become alive to God and his Holy Spirit.
C.S. Lewis writes for the first time about Aslan as Beaver mentions his name: ‘at the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realise that it is the beginning of the holidays.’
The name that Mary was given for her son was ‘Jesus’, and his name should cause something within us to jump. My prayer in this advent season is that each one of us may hear afresh the name of Jesus, the name that is above all names, the name by which we can know God and enter into his wonderful life. And as we hear the name of Jesus we may experience our spirits jumping with joy, excitement and anticipation.
I wish you a happy and wonderful Christmas and a peaceful New Year!
Rev Alan Bradley, Superintendent