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December 2017 - A Time For Sharing

Christmas is a time when people join together and share. Parties, annual gatherings and many other events are times for sharing - of food and drink, of cards and presents, of memories both happy and sad, of laughter and joy.

For many, Christmas is also a time for financial sharing, as goodwill prevails and people give to a large number of charities that appeal for our support, such as the Salvation Army, Shelter, Crisis at Christmas, Help the Aged, Save the Children and Oxfam. There is an instinct in people to reach out to relieve the desperate needs of others, near or far away. This is a sharing, not just of earthly resources, but of our common humanity.

All this can be seen as an imitation of the greatest act of sharing in history - God sending Jesus, his own Son, to be born for us and to become one of us, to share our human lot with all its ups and downs, to the uttermost. An old hymn puts it this way:

'He sent no angel to our race of higher or of lower place, but wore the robe of human frame himself, and to this lost world came.'

That's what Christmas is really about - God's astounding love in coming among us, in person, in Jesus, to share our lives with all their joys and sorrows. Jesus became like us, so that we might become like him. His purpose was to share our human lives so that we might share his Eternal Life. Christmas is Part One of the Great Story of God's divine love for everyone, which comes to completion at Good Friday and Easter.

What can our response be? Surely to go on sharing with our fellow human beings in whatever ways we can. When we do this we are imitating God's own perfect sharing and making earth a little more like heaven.

I wish you all a Happy, Joyful and Peaceful Christmas and great happiness in 2018.


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