Friday, 22 December 2017

Decorations of Joy by Emily Owen

A special part of Christmas, for me, is the evening I spend at my goddaughter’s house.  Each year, I take her a new decoration for her tree, and watch as she carefully hangs it on a branch.  She is nine, now, and her collection of decorations is growing. A few evenings ago, after she’d hung this year’s gift, we looked at her decorations, one by one.  Bears, snowmen, angels; we examined them all.  Then we came to a particular one, and she said, “This one’s my favourite”.
I think she was six the year she received that one, and I strongly suspect ‘pink’ might be influential in it being awarded favourite status.  But, whatever the reason, the angel was picked out.  It was important.
This got me thinking about the shepherds in the Christmas story.  I imagine they’d have picked the angel as being pretty important, too!  Without the angel and his words, the shepherds would have missed out on the most important event in history.
“You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12)
Without the angels singing "glory to God", the shepherds would not have themselves glorified God.
‘The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.’ (Luke 2:20)
Words matter.
Words we speak, or don’t speak.
Words we write, or don’t write.

Isaiah penned the words, ‘Unto us a child is born.’ (Is.9)

‘The Word became flesh.’ (John 1:14)
The Word matters.

I recently went to a wonderful Narnia exhibition.  It took me into a room, empty but for a wardrobe.  Then through the wardrobe, squeezing past fur coats.  Then into a snowy world of lampposts, and fawns drinking tea, and white witches eating Turkish delight (although this one’s Turkish delight looked remarkably like jelly beans), and a lion called Aslan, and a stone table smashed…and finally, ‘the spell begins to break’.

‘The people walking in darkness will see a great light….’ (Is. 9:2)
May our words this Christmas, whether written or spoken, point to that Light.

The angel said to the shepherds:
“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.” (Luke 2:10)
If Christmas carols were decorations hanging on a tree, this would be my favourite:
‘Joy to the world, the Lord has come!’

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