It’ll be different this year
It’s my final year at Leeds Uni. The church I’m attending asks if I would stay and play the piano for the Christmas day service. It would mean a long drive home afterwards and being late for dinner.
What do I do? I say yes and prepare myself for the phone call with my mum.
For the next twenty years, Christmas day is pretty much the same. Taking part in a Christmas day service and then the drive to my parents to see the family.
Getting married didn’t change Christmas. With only one side of our family in the UK and the fact that my parents live on a small holding with animals to look after, means that where we go for Christmas is normally a foregone conclusion.
Even moving didn’t change things. Yes, we live further away from my parents than we ever have. Yet, what we do at Christmas time has remained the same.
But this year it looks like it’s all set to change. Who knows what the restrictions will be by the time we hit December 25th? Will households be allowed to mix, or will we have to keep our distance? Whatever happens, I’m sure it’ll be different this year.
I think back to a time over 2000 years ago to the birth of Jesus. For Mary and Joseph, it was year of difference. The Roman Emperor had called a census which meant that Mary and Joseph had to leave home and livelihood and travel to Bethlehem.
A baby was born. But, no ordinary baby. The message Mary received from the angel Gabriel told her this baby, Jesus, was God’s son. Imagine the feeling of responsibility and the adjustment in their lives.
Yet, the Bible tells us that this was a change to celebrate; a saviour had been born who would bring hope, joy and peace to the world.
Christmas will be different this year and it’s sad that we probably won’t be able to do a lot that we normally enjoy. Yet, the message of Christmas – the birth of Jesus – hasn’t altered.
We’re looking at ways that we can hold a carol service this year. A celebration of Christmas and the message of Jesus. We’ve got some ideas, but at the moment we don’t know what we’ll be allowed to do. If you’re interested, keep an eye on our website or on our Facebook page.
Praying you all keep safe and well.