Tomorrow is Christmas Day, the beginning of the forty-day season of Christmas, during which the church celebrates the birth of Jesus to his chosen people, his epiphany (showing) to the other nations of the world (represented by the magi), his baptism at which God revealed himself as the Holy Trinity, his first miracle (turning water into wine) and his presentation as a forty-day-old baby at the Jerusalem temple. This may seem like something of a grab-bag of unrelated events in the life of Jesus but it is in fact a single, unified festival period celebrating the incarnation of God the Son.
It is the second longest festival in the church’s calendar because the incarnation (God becoming human in the person of Jesus) is the second most amazing and important thing that ever happened. The first, of course, is that same human God laying down his life for his friends and taking it up again, which we will be celebrating at Easter (and every Sunday). You may not believe that any of that is true — if it were not true, it would be an awful waste of time to concern yourself with it — but you cannot deny that, if it is true, it is of supreme importance. Perhaps you are one of those people who thinks that Jesus is God, that he did become human in order to die and rise again for us sinners, but somehow it does not make very much difference in your life. I hope and pray that it will. Happy Christmas.
Fr Mike Healey (priest-in-charge)