Just a couple of days and it’s Christmas eve. It’ll be our very first Christmas Eve service, and I’m looking forward to it. I hope that you’re able to come, and please feel free to invite family and friends.
When I was young I so wanted to be able to spend a traditional Christmas with family and friends, but knew it couldn’t happen. After all, if there was one thing my parents were both adamant about it was that our family didn’t celebrate Christmas. And when I came out to them as Gay I knew that even if they were to somehow miraculously change their religion a family Christmas was never going to happen.
And then God happened, and I surrendered.
Just a few weeks later my partner and I were invited to spend the Christmas holidays with my sister, who had left the family religion and was celebrating Christmas for the very first time. Since my mother lived in the same area, and everyone was off work Christmas day, mum decided to invite all of us over for a family meal.
Mum worked part time for a butcher who gave his staff a fresh turkey for Christmas, so she decided to do a traditional sunday lunch with all the trimmings, and since mum was making a little extra money baking cakes we would have the plum pudding and iced fruit cake that were unsold. My sister, niece, boyfriend, gran, and mum, all coming together on Christmas day, watching the family movie, listening to the queens speech, playing scrabble. I was so busy in the run up to Christmas I didn’t give it much thought.
Then as I drove north towards home on Christmas eve it started to snow, and I suddenly realised what miracle was taking place. For the very first time in my life I was going home for Christmas. I had to pull over and wait until I could see to drive on, and my heart was bursting with gratitude. It was a lovely few days, even my stepfather was civil.
Christmas really is a time for miracles, it’s not just a cliche’. There are a half a dozen other stories I could share with you, all miracles happening around Christmas. It’s a time for amazing things to happen, a time of hope, light is coming into the world.
Expect a miracle this Christmas. Look for it. When you come to the Christmas Eve service seek it out. The unexpected, the unthinkable blessing, the amazing love of God breaking through.
I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas whatever you do.