Today we have the Christmas Day reflection from the YBA, written by Rev Mary Taylor. I know it’s a couple of days early, but hopefully that gives you some time to give it a read and take away anything you might like to use for a quiet five minutes on the day itself.
CHRISTMAS DAY – THE CHRIST CANDLE
The Journey through Advent reflects our own life journey and the journey of our world. What is our direction of travel and who or what provides us with the map?
The first words of Jesus to Peter and Andrew, James and John were Follow me.
To the weary and heavy-laden, Jesus said Come to me.
To those thirsty for real life, Jesus invited Believe in me.
And to those looking for light in the darkness, Jesus says, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.
But it all began with the greatest mystery of all, which is the journey of God through human experience, all the way from growing in the womb of Mary to a murderous death. We do not need to strive to ascend to God, because God in Jesus has made the journey down to us. He walked alongside us. He is Emmanuel – God with us. And this is the reason for our Christmas celebrations.
Find a quiet 5 minutes in the Christmas celebrations. Light a candle and slowly read these words from John’s Gospel. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak directly to your heart about this mystery.
The Word Became Flesh John 1: 1-18
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ ”) 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
TO THINK ABOUT:
What do we learn about God from Jesus who lived among us?
Why would I choose darkness rather than light?
Why do I often find it harder to receive grace than to receive law?
TO READ AND REFLECT ON:
That Holy Thing
by George MacDonald Fraser
They all were looking for a king
To slay their foes and lift them high:
Thou cam’st, a little baby thing
That made a woman cry.
O Son of Man, to right my lot
Naught but Thy presence can avail;
Yet on the road Thy wheels are not,
Nor on the sea Thy sail!
My how or when Thou wilt not heed,
But come down Thine own secret stair,
That Thou mayst answer all my need—
Yea, every bygone prayer.
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and the worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clean hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children,
and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds
with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven,
for Jesus’ sake,