The other side of Christmas, by Rob Whiteman

Preparation for Christmas can be very hectic, but we should also remember those for whom it is tough. For some it is one of the hardest weeks of the year. Everyone else is partying hard, making special preparations and looking forward to being with their families. Some just want it to be over so they can go back to work and carry on with normal life. There can be so many reasons for this – some have no family, some are estranged from them, divorce makes this ever harder. For some the Christmas season brings a year’s mind of loved ones. We may never know why but it is important to be sensitive to this.

For the Christian the message is a simple one. God loved the world so much that he sent his son to dwell on earth in human form. The message is one of utmost love and for many that is a more important message than whatever the Easter message may be. We can stand tall in God’s creation because God came down to earth in human form. The Christianity that our Unitarian forebears reacted against focussed on the supposed sinfulness of humanity forgetting the simple fact that by taking human form God exalted that form, sanctified it. Christmas is a celebration of that incarnation but that love is the central message of Christianity. However we respond to Christianity we should recognise that Christmas gives us a particular focus to show that love to those who need it most.