Mothers’ Union Devotion Wednesday 30th December 2020

I hope that you all had a good break over Christmas. Maybe on the surface being locked down at home with only a single day where you could meet family or friends might not have seemed like a good Christmas. Many traditions just could not take place. Many presents might not have been delivered. Many people might not have been able to go to Church for safety reasons. Many of you might have felt rather alone. It has certainly been a different Christmas and maybe not one you would describe as good.

A good Christmas Break however can be something quite different. A good Christmas Break is one where you are free from guilt. Because guilt and Christmas often come hand in hand. Most years we find ourselves feeling guilty about not visiting all the people we used to at Christmas time. Past work colleagues or school friends. Old neighbours or family friends. Distant relatives both by relationship and physical distance. Journeys that have become difficult due to health, wealth or time constraints prey on our minds. This year we have been set free from that guilt because we simply cannot do it. The government has taken that burden out of our hands.

So, we have had to experience Christmas in a different way. Hopefully, a peaceful way without the rushing around the country or the endless stream of visitors. The streets around us are quieter as people stay at home rather than rush off to the shops for seasonal bargains. These differences, however, do not detract from the main reason for celebrating Christmas: The coming of the Prince of Peace.

Jesus was born that first Christmastime, to bring peace to the world. That peace does not necessarily refer just to peace among nations or peace within our communities although both are very important objectives. Jesus also came to bring peace within ourselves. Peace to set us free from guilt. Free from guilt about following the traditions and expectations of society. Free from the guilt of celebrating his birth in a particular way. Free from the guilt of somehow feeling unworthy of the love of Jesus, Immanuel – God with us.

A Christmas where we cannot, no matter how much we might have wanted to, spend time with others, gives us the chance to discover a deeper peace. A peace free from guilt. A peace filled with acceptance. A peace where we can discover the presence of the Prince of Peace.

May you all continue to find the peace of the Christ Child this Christmastide.

Revd Sandra