As Christmas Day moves ever nearer, most of us will say that we are excited by the prospect of its arrival. Many of us allow our minds to drift back to our childhood.
To when we found it difficult to get to sleep on Christmas Eve because of the many surprises that we hoped to find in our stockings the next morning.
Christmas Eve back then did not suddenly happen. We had been anticipating its arrival ever since we opened the first door of our Advent calendar.
We had made an extra special effort to be on our best behaviour ever since.
But as well as Christmas morning, there were hopefully other treats in store for us. There was the more relaxed time at school when you could have some fun alongside the sums and grammar. There was the joy of decorating the house and checking to see how many light bulbs were working. There was the possibility of snow falling which could mean you could go sledging. There was the chance of sharing a meal with members of your family that you had not seen since last Christmas. There was the hope that perhaps you would get the opportunity of playing one of the wise men rather than being one of the extra shepherds.
There was a special something about the whole Christmas season when you were young. Hopefully that positive feeling will never leave you. Hope lies at the heart of the season.
The people of Jesus’ time hoped that a Messiah would come and make their lives better.
And on that first Christmas Jesus came into our world. He came to teach us how to create a better world. A world where there was peace and justice and where people cared for one another.