Well it had to come round eventually didn't it. Today is the last day of the holidays and everyone in my house goes back to normal life tomorrow. It doesn't feel that long ago since I was writing about the Christmas period looking forward to it and thinking about its meaning. Now it has come and gone did I get anything from it except a bunch of new stuff and indigestion?
What did Christmas mean for me this year? Well the memory that will stand out the most for me for a long time is possibly that of my Godson eating his first Christmas dinner, pushing food in to his mouth as soon as there is even a tiny bit space and passing his turkey to the dog. Or the other major memory of the period of going to the cemetery and visiting the graves of my family who passed this year. Both of these are mile stones in my life this year, but are not hugely important in the scheme of what Christmas means in reality.
However Christmas did afford me some amazing opportunities for fellowship and prayer. The first came on Christmas eve while out carol singing with the young people from my Church. Many of us have had a tough year and this chance to get together and have fun while standing in public declaring our love for God and our joy at His gift was something special. Not only that the reception we received from both members of our Church and members of the public was amazing, we sang to people right across the age spectrum, from a week old baby to a couple who were in their 90's. The way these people smiled, laughed and even at one point cried(the happy sort of crying) was testament to the work God is doing even in the lives of people not currently connected to a Church.
The other was on Christmas day itself. In the past services on Christmas day at our Church were cancelled by certain ministers and as such a valuable fellowship time and worship time was lost. However in recent years our current ministers have reinstated this service, and this year was the most amazing one I have ever attended. People battled the elements and drove through the most snow we have seen in years just to make it there. People made huge efforts and postponed present opening and dinner just to attend Church on our Lords birthday. The atmosphere there, for me at least was electric, there was an expectation, a longing in the congregation I have not felt in my Church for a long time. Sitting there in the Church I felt that people were there not just because it was the day to be in Church, not just because it was expected, but they were there because they wanted to be there, they wanted to worship and thank God. During the service there was a chance to give testimony and those that did showed that the real meaning of Christmas is still alive in many people. Being in that Christmas day service was a blessing the likes of which I have not felt for many months.
I don't know how your Christmas was, I don't know how you felt this Christmas or if God was actively in Christmas for you this year. However as these holidays draw to a close for many people now may be a good time to look back and see what Christmas meant to you this year. Was it everything it should have been? Was it God filled and Christ centred?
New years and the end of the holidays gives us a prime opportunity to look back and see how things were. But use this opportunity not to feel happy with your effort or even to be disappointed with your journey last year. This is a chance to look and see how you can make this coming year the best and most God filled you have had yet. That is my prayer for myself and all of you guys reading this.
Make this year God filled and Christ centred so that through us others may see You. Give me the strength to follow Your guidance and walk Your path in all that I do. Amen.
This blog is supposed to be, as much as I can, my daily journey through life as a Christian. I hope it to be my thoughts and feelings on life but be as grounded in the Christian message as it can. My intention is not to create a daily readings or bible study guide but to look at my life in terms of a Christian trying to find and follow God's mission using his Life User's Manuel AKA the Bible.