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A good, not perfect, Christmas (Christmas Day, 2011)

A good, not perfect, Christmas

Isaiah 9.1-7
Luke 2.1-20

This year has been a painful experience for people in many parts of the world. For example: Christchurch was wrecked by a terrible earthquake, the folk of Japan were devastated by a tsunami, recently the people of the Philippines were inundated by severe flooding and many asylum seekers drowned when their boat overturned.

And of course, Christchurch has been struck again by earthquakes; and Darwin may be hit by another Christmas cyclone.

It’s not been easy right here either. The floods last January left their mark in many ways. Those directly affected lost precious possessions and even homes. Some people lost their lives. The community rallied, and people showed that they could care. But even now, there are homes as yet unlived in since the floods. There are people scarred by depression. There are people who won’t go away this summer because they prefer to stay around their home. Just in case.

2011 has not been the easiest year.

Now Christmas is here, and we can forget all that. It’s a good thing to have a celebration, and Christmas gives us a celebration that’s as regular as clockwork. It’s always good to see the joy on children’s faces and perhaps recall our own Christmas memories.

Christmas is here, and it’s good. But you know, one of the things we often tell ourselves is that Christmas must not only be ‘good’; it must be perfect. Perfect meal, perfectly behaved kids, perfect gifts for people who—well…aren’t perfect. All this in times that are not perfect.

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