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Viewpoint from Carolyn Cliff 23/12/11

Carolyn Cliff
Reader, Great Yarmouth Minster
Dove rightWith Christmas almost upon us I wonder how you are feeling?
Are you relaxed because all your shopping is done, presents wrapped, food and drink well stocked and you can sit down for a while and take time to relax, be quiet and reflect on the meaning of Christmas?
Or are you one of those people who leave everything to the last minute and you are still wondering what to buy to give to that special person in your life? As you are reading this you have taken a few moments to stop and think.
Whether we are all sorted out or still in a panic, God loves us all
Whether we spend a lot of time thinking Godly thoughts or just a quick prayer, God loves us all
Even if we never really think about him, God loves us all
dove left How can I say that? 
Because God saw the needs of humanity. 
He saw how we can be generous and loving but also greedy and hateful. 
He saw how to heal the rift between Himself and us.
He saw how to heal the rift between one human being and another
God gave himself.  By coming to us as a vulnerable baby, as Jesus. Not born in a great palace with loads of servants to care for him and great riches around him. But as a baby to a couple who could not find a bed for the night except in a stable.
They knew about fleeing for their lives, living amongst strangers. Of the hope of returning home to find it was not safe and living elsewhere. Jesus knows of the problems of growing up, learning skills for work. He knows of being made welcome and his teaching accepted. He knows about being rejected, hated, arrested and killed, of our inhumanity to each other.
Yet that was not the end of the story as Easter Sunday tells us:
This is a God who gives of himself to us; 
Who made himself vulnerable for us; 
Who gives us love and meaning in our lives;
Who still today calls us into that greatest of love