Streetly All Saints Church

Christmas Unwrapped

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The ritual of giving of gifts at Christmas come from a multitude of sources some mythological, some religious, mostly commercial commercial. The Bible tells us that wise men from the East brought gifts for Jesus, and we celebrate Christmas with much exchanging of presents. But how many of us take time to see beyond this ritualistic giving and reflect on the real meaning of Christmas; to ‘unwrap' Christmas so we can see what it's really about.

Small children and adults are always very keen to rip the wrapping off our gifts quickly and not just admire the packaging, but are we prepared to do the same to the heart of Christmas, to see beyond the ribbons and bows to the truth of the underlying message?

That very first Christmas, a few people saw beyond the wrapping, or were prepared to look deeper. Most were deceived by outward appearances. God's people were awaiting the gift of a Saviour, the Messiah who would come announcing a new age, heralding the start of God's kingdom on earth, setting them free from oppression and captivity, bringing peace. They had expectations of what this Messiah would be like - a king, a mighty warrior. They were expecting a governing prince, the Son of the most high God. That kind of Saviour would surely arrive with a flourish, a fan fare, making a massive impact.

But Jesus came effectively in disguise, a refugee born to a teenage mum in a borrowed stable. So most people missed him, missed the significance of his birth, and the life which was beginning. People failed to see beyond outward appearances then, just as they do now.

Some shepherds though, simple folk out in the fields, were surprised by angels. Angels who told them that the Saviour had been born, not in a palace, where shepherds like them would never get a security pass, but in a stable; not wrapped in the finest of regal garments, but wrapped in strips of cloth. They declared this child would bring peace to the world.

The shepherds took these angels at their word. They went and found the baby, lying in a manger. They saw beyond the strips of cloth and the impoverished surroundings. They had eyes to see who this baby was to become, and with joy and confidence they went out to spread the good news of his birth. Glad tidings of great joy and peace on earth.

You and I can be surprised if we take time to unwrap Christmas; to seek God now as the wise men and simple shepherds sought him long ago; to explore the real message of Christmas, which is most certainly more than the clamour of commercials to spend, spend, spend and the ringing of cash tills in our ears. At Christmas time we receive so many presents we don't really need. Yet God offers us a gift we cannot do without - the gift of peace, and a relationship with the one who created us in love, to love and serve him by loving our neighbours as ourselves.

With every blessing for a joyful, peaceful and unwrapped Christmas.

Reverend Mandy 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 29 November 2014 21:27 )  

Charity Number: 1134127

Address: All Saints Parish Church Streetly, Foley Road East, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B74 3JL

Regular Services

7.00am Morning Prayer 
8.00am Holy Communion
10.00am Parish Family Eucharist
6.00pm Evening Service 
Monday-Saturday 8.30am Morning Prayer 
Tuesday 10am Holy Communion


Special Events- Dates for your Diary

Saturday 21st April Time 7.00pm- Quiz Night 

Saturday 28th April 7.30pm- Jean Martyn in Concert

Saturday 12th May 10.30am- Coffee Concert with Simon Lumby and Angela Sones (Organ) 






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