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Have yourselves a Merry Material Christmas-Time!

How "Christian" is your Christmas? What is the relevance of getting and giving all this stuff? The new Archbishop of Canterbury has said:

    "The heart of the Christmas message is that God takes our material world completely seriously. He doesn't just send a message, he comes to live in the physical world in the flesh and blood of a real person, Jesus."
Christianity is the most material of all religions (unless you include the new world religion of consumerism!). We are given good material things to enjoy and we should be grateful for them. But the fact that God not only made the world but walked about in it, eating and drinking, also means that we should have reverence for it. Rowan Williams again:

    "If we believe that God takes the environment seriously, that he can speak through the physical things of the world, we are horribly wrong if we think we can ignore these environmental matters. The good news God sends at Christmas has to be good news for the whole world. If we start thinking about protecting our environment properly we shall be reflecting the way God himself looks at the world into which he came at Christmas."
We have to find a balance between enjoying the good things of our material world and taking from the earth what it cannot afford to give us. This isn't easy! Part of my spiritual journey is to try to find the right balance. Christmas, when according to the carol "The earth is now a heaven become", is a good time to give some thought to how we can express God's love to the whole world as well as to our nearest and dearest.

December Top Tip: Cut down on waste by giving tickets (to the theatre, concert or sporting event etc.) as a present. You could also give your time by going along too!

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