When you hear the word Christmas, what images pop into your mind?
Lots of food, hot days, presents under a tree, relatives you may not have seen for a while, carols, shopping (loads of shopping), family, friends and happy times.
Many Christians will also have an image of an extraordinary kind of love.
It’s a love that drove the creator who brought all things into being, to enter into this physical world, to patch up the relationship between rebellious humanity and himself.
It is good news.
In fact, the whole present giving thing reminds us that we all can receive this love as a gift.
The gift isn’t wealth, or power, or status, or invulnerability, or any other thing. Instead, it is the gift of relationship.
We are all relational creatures; our lives are made so much more fulfilling and meaningful through our relationships.
We know that our individual spiritual and psychological well-being is predicated on the health and vitality of our relationships with others, and this can also include a faith or spiritual dimension.
These connections are our social, emotional and spiritual supports, and in times of stress, they may be the difference between struggling and going under, or coping well and thriving through adversity.
Friends, the RAP (Reduced Activity Period) gives us an opportunity to refocus our time, energy and commitments away from our workplaces, to spend time with family, friends and what’s genuinely important.
Why not take some deliberate action today to strengthen your relationships with those who are important to you.
Merry Christmas and may God bless you.