One of my favourite little poems to share at this time of year is ‘The best thing about Christmas’ by Gillian Ellis.
It begins by asking the question “What’s the best thing about Christmas?” And then asks the question through all the things that we perhaps think about as we consider and reflect on Christmas; from food, to pantomime, to snow, to crib and manger.
If I were to ask the question I wonder what your reflex answer would be. For me I am pleased that chocolate [money], as you all know I am rather partial to the odd bit of chocolate gets a mention, and also the question ‘Is it the visit from Grandma?’, as I certainly think that should be high up the list of all of my own grandchildren at least.
I like this poem because it isn’t saying that these things shouldn’t form part of our love of this season – I am always saddened by Christians who can’t see the how the secular joy and love of this time of year can’t be something we can celebrate too – but it ends by reminding us of what surely IS the best thing about Christmas, as she concludes with
‘Christ’s the best thing about Christmas –
Christmas, the time of his birth –
God sent the Saviour at Christmas,
Born to bring love to the earth.’
For Christians it is not simply ‘the best thing about Christmas’ but the very reason we celebrate and are joyful; because God’s love for the world is revealed tangibly in Jesus’ birth. It is an everlasting, constant love offered to any and all who will pause and see God’s incarnate love revealed through the child in the manger.
We are not simply celebrating a moment in past history, but an ongoing ‘coming’ of God’s love in our world even today. So, as you share with others in all the things you love about this time of year, remember and give thanks for ‘the best thing about Christmas’; Christ our Saviour ‘Born to bring love to the earth’.