Our local garden centre has a poster inviting children to come and meet Santa Claus, Peppa Pig and the Minions – for a small fee of course. This set me thinking about what Christmas means to people today. Rush, hustle and bustle, presents, family time… Behind that of course is the Christmas story as told in countless school plays, nativity scenes and churches about the birth of baby Jesus. Sometimes that can seem irrelevant in our very different times.
But John’s gospel in the Bible makes it relevant here and now. It opens with a wonderful account of Jesus as ‘the light of the world’ and in chapter 1 verse 9 we find Jesus described as:
“The true light that gives light to everyone [who] was coming into the world.”
This idea that we all have a light given to us, which helps us to find truth and the best way to live is fundamental to Christians. Many Quakers still think a lot about the inner light, ‘that of God’ within all people. How do we respond to this gift?
John, in his gospel also writes a great deal about Jesus as the gift of love that God gives to humanity.
Surely in the end, beyond all the presents and wrapping paper, the Minions and Peppa Pig the greatest gift we can give each other is love, inspired by God’s gift of light and love in Jesus.