As Christmas Day approaches, bells are jingling; tills are ringing; and nerves are jangling! Does that sound familiar to you?
For many people, Christmas can be a stressful time of the year. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, what would be the best present you could get this year?
At the heart of Christmas is a wondrous story. With shepherds watching their flock; angels singing and a beautiful baby boy. Not just any baby boy – a very special baby called Jesus. A man named Luke, who lived around 2000 years ago wrote all about it and you can still read about it today in his book – The Gospel according to Luke. Luke tells us that God decided to move into the neighbourhood and live among us so that we would know how much he loves us, and how much he cares for us. He sent his son, Jesus, to live as one of us, and know what it is to be fully human. Jesus only lived on the earth for 33 years, and didn’t wander much more than 100 miles from Jerusalem, but in that time he told amazing stories, did incredible things and challenged the status quo. So much so that we still talk about him today.
Jesus taught us three important things. That God loves us; that we should love ourselves; and that we are to love everyone. Each of these is challenging in our modern world. But Jesus also said ‘My peace I give you. Do not be afraid.’
I don’t know what your best Christmas present would be. For me, I would like to see more peace, love, care and compassion throughout Midlothian, Scotland and the world.