Love…not just for Christmas

 5 December 2020 |

As we approach the end of this difficult and daunting year, people are turning to Christmas. They do so as an opportunity to bring some light into their world, against the onslaught of a pandemic that has changed us all forever. Christmas cards are being sent early, trees bought and decorated, lights up and blazing. Christmas! That time of the year when we put our differences aside and reach out to others, add some more precious pounds to the collecting tin as well as our tummies, reconnect with friends neighbours and relatives. Despite the obvious obstacles this year, people are already planning their festivities.

And at Christmas we celebrate love coming into the world in the self-giving love of God in Jesus. And we do so by, perhaps, exchanging gifts with our neighbours – people we hardly talk to all year – and perhaps by thinking more deeply about those less fortunate than ourselves. But what has been remarkable this year has been that the reaching out to others that perhaps we have only done at Christmas has been much more the norm for communities throughout the year. The stories keep coming of how complete strangers have become friends across all sorts of divides; how pubs and restaurants have found ways to stay alive by serving and giving to communities way beyond their usual clientele.

But also there have been the many – from all walks of life – who have continued delivering, driving vans, buses and trains,working in shops, keeping overstretched hospitals going and providing care and love to those who are stressed with illnesses, disease, accidents, loneliness and depression. The nation has come together in new and wonderful ways; love has spread like the pandemic, itself! We celebrate everyone who through this year has made a difference and shown love to friend and stranger.

Love…not just for Christmas!