We love our Christmas traditions but there are always new ones ones to embrace – or not, as the the case may be! Apparently, continuous exposure to piped Christmas songs causes mental health problems, for example!
A recent tradition is the production of increasingly elaborate “seasonal” advertisements by larger department stores (estimated cost £6 million, so I am not a huge fan!)
The 2017 John Lewis ad features a young boy who befriends a monster (Moz) living under his bed. On Christmas morning, among his presents, he finds an old and battered package- from Moz, of course. Bemused, he opens it to find the most wondrous present of all, nevertheless.
Sometimes the best presents come in the most unappetising packaging. Christianity in the UK is increasingly being portrayed in the media as judgemental, unloving, bigoted, boring and irrelevant, even monstrous! And the Christian content in many of these ads is a big fat zero.
If people would take time to look deeper, beyond the “unattractive” packaging, they might find a wondrous gift to be treasured – a gift that would fill their lives with the joy, peace and wonder that they crave.
At Christmas, God manifested Himself in a vulnerable child, born into a poor family in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire. But His “wondrous gift” transformed this world beyond recognition through a monstrous event – the cross of Calvary. Only a few recognized God’s saving activity.
In the same way, God takes “the weak things of this world”, His Church (you and me) to “shame the wise” and make a difference to the world.
Wishing you a “Monster” Christmas!