Those of you who are of my era may remember that song by the Beatles- ‘All you need is love.’
If we look around our world of today, it can seem very void of love. Wars in countries that have been going on for years, people thinking that they have the right to take other peoples lives, even in our own area we hear of murders, break in’s etc.
If we look back to that first Christmas, although it may seem rather bleak- giving birth in a stable, a journey of 100 miles to be registered when Mary was heavily pregnant, it was a sign of love- God coming into the world as a baby to be among us.
I often tell a story about a married couple who weren’t getting on too well, so they decide to go and see a Marriage Guidance Councillor. When they arrive he invites them into his office and goes and sits behind his desk. As soon as the woman sits down she starts talking- non-stop, while her husband sits next to her looking at the ground.
After about five minutes the Councillor goes round to the wife and gives her a big, long, lingering kiss on the lips- that shuts her up! He goes and sits back behind his desk and says to her husband, “That’s what your wife needs at least three times a week.” “Fine,” relplied her husband, I’ll bring her in 3 times a week!”
But joking apart, we need to love and be loved.
Christina Rossetti wrote a poem (first published in 1885) entitled ‘Love came down at Christmas.’
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love Divine,
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?
Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
May I wish you and those whom you love a very peaceful and happy Christmas, and that we may share that gift of love- God himself with those who do not know or have not experienced it?
Father Terry Steele
Rector of Bugh le Marsh Group of Parishes.