Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Christmas is Coming

Angels are dancing in Albert Square, central Manchester ... the Christmas lights are on. This year the square hosts a traditional Christmas tree surrounded by three angels with trumpets. How faithful to the original Christmas story! Angels announced Christ's birth to Mary and Joseph before the event, and to the shepherds immediately afterwards.

There are two problems though. First the angels are surrounded by a metal ring-fence, so one has to appreciate them from a distance. Second, the whole of Albert Square is swamped by a Christmas market, which quite diminishes the effect of the festive decorations.

This is representative of modern society's approach to Christmas. If we are to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas at all, then we only do so remotely, from quite a distance. Get close to Christmas this year! Think about the historical narrative in the Gospel records. Think about the apostolic interpretation in the Epistles.

Then again, don't let your Christmas be overcome by rampant consumerism. The Christmas Spirit isn't shopping! Recall the baby born in obscurity - heaven's riches exchanged for earth's poverty. (2 Cor 8v9).