More Notes from The Orchard – 56


December 2018



Many people view December as the end of the year and look forward hopefully to new beginnings – when all the bad bits can be swept away and everything can start again, only this time we can get everything right.


I tend to see Christmas and 25th December as the high points of another year we have managed to survive.  Without the arrival on earth of the Christ Child, Christmas and its celebrations would be just another series of parties and presents – things, things, things. . . here today and gone tomorrow, and over the years presents turn into stuff, a word becoming much more used these days to refer to the accumulation of tomorrow’s rubbish.  Of course, it is lovely at the time to receive the gifts most of us exchange at Christmas but so many of them sit for years around in drawers or cupboards, only occasionally seeing the light of day.  There are some which are offered from the heart, but sad to say there is also a percentage which materialised from a list – a head-based list where the heart really doesn’t come in to it.


Even the heart-inspired gifts eventually turn to dust and when they rise up and evoke half-forgotten relationships and times gone by, we find ourselves going through the words of the song, “Aah, yes, I remember him/her/it well.. .” or rather sadly, “I wonder where that came from, who did it belong to, who gave us this?”


God came to save us in the guise of a little child to let us know who we are: we are his children and he cares for us.  He has promised us eternal life and happiness if we care to accept these gifts and in the end, despite all the delightful things of substance our life on this earth has to offer us, they will not last.  But people will and they are where our happiness lies.


That is why Christmas is important.  God sent us a message to cheer us on our way:  things we can touch and hold are important while we learn exactly who we are. When we discover the answer to that, we can face the next part of our lives with hope and joy. Unless we accept the immortality offered to us by God himself in the person of Jesus Christ, who do you think he is promising to be with?  He said ‘with you’.  You who? You and me! Now there’s something to really celebrate.  


No, Christmas isn’t just for children as some grudging ‘believers’ state, with toys and stockings, jingle bells and Christmas puddings: It’s for all of us and it’s for ever.


Do have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy the reminder!




Sarah Bell

APPLEFOOTER3 Advent-2015