I’ve just returned from a week’s holiday in London, where despite it being mid-November everything seemed fully decorated and ready for Christmas.
The shops’ window displays were beautiful, my favourite was Fortnum & Mason’s incredible menagerie of animals all unexpectedly working together to make sure the goodies get delivered. Oxford Street’s lights were large bronze and silver glowing baubles, but the really impressive display was Regent Street’s spectacular angels with their wings spanning the breadth of the street. Unlike many angels depicted on Christmas cards these actually looked quite intimidating. If this is what angels actually look like, you can understand why their first words are always “Fear Not” or “Don’t be afraid”.
“Do not be afraid” seems to be an important message for us to hear as we approach Christmas in a rapidly changing world, where the powers are trying to sow fear and division, encouraging us to fear and suspect anyone who is different from us in any way, whether that’s their nationality, faith, political opinion, social class or football team.
Do not be afraid, because among the many names of the Newborn King that we celebrate at Christmas (To learn more about some of those names join in our Advent course on Wednesday afternoons) is the name or title “Prince of Peace”. The one who comes to bring reconciliation, healing of broken relationships between God and humanity, and between individuals and peoples. The reconciliation that he brings will be costly, but it will bring us freedom, and peace that the world cannot give.
May you be unafraid to find his peace this Christmas.
With Every Blessing,