O Come All Ye Faithful – a little reflection on my favourite song.
Come here, you are faithful people, you are people of joy and triumph.
Come here, you are called to Bethlehem, a distant land that is actually the land of your original home.
Come and see the King of Angels (how awesome it would be to see even an angel, but here is the KING of angels!)
Come and love him with all you have.
Multitudes of heavenly angels are singing in praise to him,
Come back to Bethlehem where you came from,
You are faithful (not because of what you have done but because of what God has done for you)
You are faithful (whether you feel it or not, because that is who God made you to be)
You are faithful (the Holy Spirit is working in you and gives you the gift of faith)
Come close, come to Jesus. Come.
Last year, on Christmas Day, I preached for the last time at St John’s in Langdon Hills, the church I had called home for nearly 30 years. I wept with dear friends, tears of joy and sadness as I followed God’s calling to ordination and continue my training here at St Andrew with Holy Cross. As part of my preach I called the congregation, unexpectedly I might add, out into the car park, and gathered us to sing ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ as we reflected on what it felt like to be outside, in the cold, being the bins. How little did I know that singing together outside would be something we dreamed of this Christmas!
This might not be the warm and fuzzy message that was expected, but I feel strongly that Jesus does not call us to find a comfortable spot and sit there. Jesus’ very birth reminds us that he is at the edges, the forgotten and overlooked places, the insignificant and unremarkable.There we are called to adore him. Imagine if we referred to our daily acts of loving our neighbours as ‘adoring Jesus’; our acts of worship and discipleship. Imagine if we woke up each day and determined to adore Jesus in all that we say and do. How might that look?
How much does the world need us to adore Jesus right now?
I have included a picture from an artist called Charlie Mackesy for today. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter and he has produced a beautiful book with inspired artwork like this in. Indeed, there are dark clouds for many of us this Christmas. I am conscious that as I type about joy and adoring Jesus, some may be reading this fighting back tears, or living with the constant pang of pain that never leaves. I am comforted by the reminder in this picture that God’s goodness never leaves us. Even when we feel overwhelmed by those dark clouds, it never changes the reality that God has us firmly in his grip. You are faithful, joyful and triumphant people; chosen by name. I am praying for you all dear brothers and sisters – I hope you manage to get some sleep tonight despite all the excitement tomorrow holds.