Well, It's What Christmas Is All About, Isn't It?

First published December 2015

A Christmas message from the Reverend Ray Gibbs and the Reverend John Chandler:

How many times will we hear that phrase in the coming weeks? Quite a lot, we hope! Christmas means a lot to us, and many different things. Here are a few:

It's all about children. Yes, of course it is. Seeing a child's eyes light up with joy on Christmas Day is one of life's greatest joys.

It's all about presents. It certainly is. It's a great way to show we value one another; not what people have done for us, but who they are, and all they mean to us.

It's all about family. Can't argue with that: it's worth making a special effort to get everyone together at least once a year, but hopefully more often.

It's all about food and drink. We're in favour of that! Eating and drinking is the way communities have celebrated since earliest times, so let's do it regularly!

It's all about enjoying yourself. And a good laugh. And pantomimes. Oh yes it is! Don't we wish every day was filled with joy and laughter?

It's all about a holiday. Yes please! Taking a break is part of the necessary daily, weekly, annual lifecycle; what better time than before we start a new year.

Christmas is about Christ. Of course; but all of the above, too. "God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). In other words, God who loves the entire human family sent Jesus to become human, which means being born as a baby, and to live a human life, so that He could draw us back into relationship with Him - a relationship that will last for ever.

So as we see Christmas joy on children's faces, receiving gifts which show our love for them, may we receive into our hearts the special gift of Jesus, that we may recapture that simple joy of knowing we're loved enough to die for, loved enough to be wanted in God's family. As we give presents, may we pray that those who receive them will know our love, and God's, for them. As we meet with family and share a meal together - something Jesus himself asks us to do - may we vow to maintain good relationships with the wider family of our community. And whilst we eat, drink and party… feel free to do it for selfish enjoyment because God says we're worth it, and also in celebration that Jesus Christ is the joy of Christmas. And that's always true, even if some or all of the above will be missing from your Christmas this year.

We invite you to come along to celebrate Christmas with Jesus this year, as a member of the Myland family and God's family, and to open your heart to the best present the world was ever given.

Happy Christmas - and a wonderful New Year!


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