I say World, this blog will probably only be read by my Dad, other members of the family and by about 4 other friends (yes, you are included).
It is Christmas day (just, its 0030) and there is snow on the ground in Bangor. The heating is on, as is my jumper and other warm clothes. I'm sure that it will be an interesting one. This is the first time that I will not be with my parents at Christmas. It is definitely quite a strange one. It feels like I've reached an mental/emotional landmark. Chronological ones like reaching double figures (10), 18 years old and becoming a real man (21) are all great but there is no real change.
Spending my first weekends away on Camp separated from my family, being away for a birthday for the first time and now being away for Christmas, which has always been a family event for us, have all caused interesting emotional responses. There is a consistency in the responses though. Each time I have missed my family dearly, and I miss them now. I know that they'll have a great time up in Scotland (and what ever Phil is doing), and I know I'm going have a great time here. I think that on every Christmas there will be something missing if my family are not there.
So it is Christmas and if you are interesting in seeing what I am doing then this is it:
- 0900: Get up
- 0915: 2nd attempt at getting up
- 0920: Shower and get dressed (post shower)
- 0940: Text Sam to see if he is awake.
- 1000: Go to Sam's for breakfast.
- 1030: Walk to Church.
- 1100: Church service (Why do I go to Church on Christmas? read on!)
- 1200: Walk home.
- 1230: Preparations for lunch at Sam's.
- 1330: Christmas TV watching commences.
- 1600-1630: Christmas Dinner!
- 1800: Doctor Who.
- 1900 - 0000: Films.
- 0030: Bed.
That is what you can expect me to be doing today.
At 1100 you may have noticed that I am in Church. After working in Costa for the last few months I have had the change to chat to customers. More recently when working on Coffee there is often a few moments to fill when steaming/frothing milk/hot chocolate for the customers (officially called guests). Chit-chat is important in the development of a friendly, familiar and comfortable environment. On the subject of Christmas people's responses vary from "it's for the kids" to "it's all a way of making money" to "it's nice to have a break isn't it".
Well readers, it is clear that the general populous has missed the importance of Christmas. Christmas isn't about presents or food. It is about the Son of God coming to Earth to become fully man (and fully God) in order to fulfil the Father's redemptive plan. Christmas isn't just about remembering a lovely story about Mary, Joseph, a Donkey and an inevitable cameo from an innkeeper. The main Character (and focus of History) is Jesus. Jesus is the 'point' of Christmas. It is basically a super-Sunday. It is a day of remembrance for Jesus's birth. We celebrate it once a year. Jesus came, lived a perfect sinless life and died on a cross to rescue us from the state that our souls are in. That is why we remember Christmas. Not because Father Christmas breaks in and leaves us toys.
Every Christmas day we eat a big meal. We do this annually to remember Jesus's birth. The one event more important that Jesus's birth is, without a doubt, Jesus's Death (and resurrection). Do we remember this with a feast annually? Some of you are probably thinking 'Yes, we do in our house. Easter Sunday Lunch, lovely!" You may well do this annually. For Christians the truth is that we remember Jesus's death with a feast 12x, 24x or may 52x more often than we do Christmas. Every time we eat the bread and drink the wine at the communion table we proclaim and remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. It really is that important! We must constantly keep this on our minds. God became man on Christmas (once) to save sinners from their sins (for always).
I hope that today you'll remember the birth of Christ and do enjoy your presents and your food; but remember WHY Christ was born! It was so he could save lost souls like you and me by dying on the cross of Calvary. That is why I celebrate Christmas and indeed why I go to Church.
1 Corinthians 11:23-27