Christmas is Coming
It's official we are now in the run up to Christmas! As I suspect many of you did in your churches yesterday, we lit the first of our Advent Candles on the Advent Wreath, I have begun writing Christmas cards, and the Christmas tree arrives on Thursday. Readers of this blog will know that I love Christmas and I am really looking forward to it this year with all that goes with it - even the mince pies! (For my previous comments on Christmas, see under the label Christmas.)
I don't know what your favourite moment at Christmas is. For me, it has to be the Midnight Eucharist on Christmas Eve. But herein lies a paradox. I have preached at this service for quite a few years now both here and, previously, in Scotland, but I have never been happy with my sermon. I don't just mean in the 'we can always do better' sense, rather I am always left feeling that I just didn't quite get there. The sheer wonder of the occasion seems to demand so much more than certainly I have been able to achieve.
Part of the problem - only part of the problem, mind you - is that by Christmas Eve, I always feel completely drained. Like having a Ferrari with no petrol in it. No matter how hard you put your foot on the accelerator nothing is going to happen. Another part of the problem is simply finding the words to describe the Word, the Word that did not stay a Word, but became flesh and dwelt amongst us.
This year I am going to go back to basics and work through the Christmas Gospel, that is, St John's Prologue to his Gospel in chapter 1 which tells of the Word becoming flesh. I have read it so many times and preached on it often, but have never really felt that I have got to the heart of what St John is saying. So to begin with, I am going to try reading and understanding the Prologue again.
Anyway, the sermon preparation for Christmas Eve begins in earnest now.