There are many versions of this but this is the one I know. The music on occasions drowns out the choir but the best version I can get right now!
I guess I’ve thought of spirituality as a quiet moment when one feels closer to God. Stephen Cottrell in his book Do Nothing Christmas is Coming has made me re-think this. He says:
spirituality is not some vague, mushy feeling of goodwill towards the universe; it is the way our experience of God is sustained and expressed. If we believe that God has a concern for the universe, then so should we. If we believe that God is concerned about those who have little at Christmas, then so should we.
I’ve never really considered spirituality in this way. However, I do agree that what concerns God should concern us and we should respond to the cry of others. At this time of year when we are filling our fridges and freezers to bursting point let us consider those who will find it hard to provide food for their families; while we are nice and cosy round the fire there are some without a home who will be sleeping out of doors and even if they are in a Christmas shelter for a couple of nights, will be back on the streets in the cold afterwards.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was ill and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matt 25@35-36)
Christmas can be a sad time of year, the lonely with no family left to celebrate with, those who are missing loved ones and those for whom Christmas can be a time of stress where abuse takes no break for Christmas.
There are things we can do and we should do if we can. This year I have cut back a little on present giving, smaller gifts. After all what do most of us actually need these day?. I sometimes help out in a charity shop and after Christmas we get lots of donations – gifts still in their boxes, books unread. We do well out of it but what does it say about us? There is a couple I know who spend far more on presents than I ever would yet half of it gets returned or given away because they ‘didn’t want it’. What’s the point? As our vicar said this morning what has this to do with the coming of Jesus? For a lot of people Christmas is just an excuse for partying, getting drunk and over eating. When I think of the money spent what a difference that would make to someone in need. I’m not saying don’t enjoy Christmas or go on a guilt trip – I love this time of year – but by cutting back on the amount you spend you could donate something to a charity – a gift that will really count.