Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat……….

Dear Friends

Christmas is coming,
The goose is getting fat;
Please put a penny
In the old mans hat.

Familiar words, but I’m not sure I’ve ever really understood them. No doubt someone will send me an e~mail  and explain them to me!!

Perhaps the clue lies in the subsequent lines…

If you haven’t got a penny,
A ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny,
Then God bless you.

So often Christmas is about the commercial ‘stuff’; the getting of presents, the round of parties, etc., when this carol reminds us that it should be about giving. However the second half also reminds us that there will always be people who are worse off than ourselves. Perhaps an important part of Christmas should lie in the giving to others of something of ourselves. 

By this I mean that instead of simply looking for gifts and presents to give, we should look at what we can give of our lives; our time, energy, care, compassion, love. In other words, our faith in action.

You see even if we don’t have much money we can still capture the true meaning of Christmas in the kindness we do, in the care we show, in the love that we express.

And after all isn’t that what God did on the first Christmas. Every part of the Christmas story is about people giving of themselves: Mary in her willingness to be the Lords mother: Joseph in his support of her: the wise men in their travelling to give gifts: the shepherds leaving their flocks. They all gave time and energy in their service to that little child who we worship as Lord and Saviour. In fact the only who didn’t was King Herod and look at how history remembers him!

But it’s the same with New Year. Again a time for revelry and self-seeking fun but perhaps in our New Year resolutions we need to carry the Christmas spirit of 

God first,
Others second,
Self last.

Too often at Christmas time and again the making of New Year resolutions we tend to think about our own enjoyment and yet the Christian principle from a God of love is to love others. Jesus said “Love God and love your neighbour as yourself.”

May each one of you find that love in your own hearts to give away to someone else this Christmas and at the beginning of 2009.

Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year to you all.