As Christmas approaches we can feel propelled into the festive season faster than we might like or is good for us. Opening one door on an Advent calendar, burning down one number on an Advent candle, or pausing to read and savour just one Advent reflection reminds us to ‘keep it in the day’ and to resist the temptation to become anxious, fearful or lost.
I lost an earring once. It was small and the carpet was one of those multicoloured, patterned ones – very good for hiding stains but very bad for finding lost small things!
I looked everywhere but I couldn’t see it. In the end I found it by getting down on my hands and knees and crawling around until at last I felt it with my hands.
It is the natural thing to do when we lose something, to get right down to its level. The same thing applies to us. As any parent knows when children lose their temper and lie kicking and screaming on the floor, the best way to get through to them is to get down on to the floor ourselves.
If we try to pontificate from five or six foot above, we get nowhere. When we get down to their level children often stop crying and begin to listen.
That’s exactly what God did that very first Christmas. When God looked upon the human race with all its failings and injustices there was no pontificating from some remote place on high. God came down to earth from heaven; who is God and Lord of all lived on earth with the poor and mean and lowly. God came down to our level in order to find us who were lost; to comfort, to reassure and to offer a promise of unfailing hope.
So when I’m feeling lost, when the child in me wants to kick and scream, and when I feel little, weak and helpless, I am thankful that God is not remote or judgemental, but is with me, feeling for my sadness and, by God’s grace, sharing in my gladness. Come along to St. Clement’s this Christmas and be found by the one who came to seek and save that which was lost and who promises to be with us always… even to the end of time.
Wishing you all a Happy and Holy Christmas,
The Rev’d Philippa Segrave-Pride and all at St Clement’s.