Down to earth

It was Christmas time. The youth group had made two banners for the festive season. They were big and bold, hanging down vertically from the roof beams on either side near the front – so you could see them as soon as you went into the church. A matching pair, deep dark-blue fabric, a big white and gold symbol at the top of each one, some words at the bottom.

The symbol on the left-hand banner was a star – bright, shining, radiating a burst of white and gold. The symbol on the right was a cross – also bright, shining, radiating a burst of white and gold.

I don’t remember the exact wording, but the banner on the left said something along the lines of: At Christmas heaven comes down to earth. And on the right: At Easter we are lifted up to heaven.

Seemed to me that together they pretty much summed up what Christmas is about. Not just a baby. Not just family. Not just the joy of giving and getting presents. Not just the food and fun and festivities. But God come down to earth, living a human life, experiencing what we experience – hurting, grieving, dying. But then rising again.

There’s a short poem by Steve Turner that draws the contrast. It’s called: ‘Christmas is really for the children’.

The second verse begins: Easter is not really for the children ... it has whips, blood, nails, a spear and allegations of body snatching. It involves politics, God and sins of the world. It is not good for people of a nervous disposition...

At the end of the poem he suggests that we might be prefer to enjoy Christmas without asking too many questions about what Jesus did when he grew up or whether there’s any connection.

But if we did that, we really would miss the point.

Love Lorna


Rector of Branston with Nocton and Potterhanworth