Some 170 people of all ages recently attended the Pulborough St Mary’s Parish Church Christingle Service to focus on the real meaning of Christmas and Fr Paul Welch at St Mary’s shares his reflection in Christmas for this week’s column.
‘Jesus is the reason for the season’, words written on a badge which I have just retrieved from a box of Christmas decorations in the loft.
On a visit to a shopping mall over half term I noticed that there was nothing in the shops about Jesus being the reason for the season.
Yet Jesus is the reason for the season and that is because of Easter. Jesus died on the cross, in loving, forgiving purpose, so that he might also be buried, rise from the dead and show us that death is not the end. God has made us to be with him eternally, if we want.
In our creed we declare belief in the resurrection of the dead.
In our funeral service, as we commit a person’s body or ashes to the ground we say that we do so, ‘in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our frail bodies that they may be conformed to his glorious body, who died, was buried and rose again for us’.
So Christ’s birth gives the hope of heaven and tells us of God’s recognition of our need of his help, his plans for us and guidance in how to live and lead our lives. To mix a hymn and a carol:
“He died that we might be forgiven, He died to make us good; And to fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.”
That is the best news, the Gospel, the best present anyone can be given at Christmas. Do you want it? Do you want to give it?