Cllr Rev Canon Ann Easter Renewal Programme and Chaplain to the Queen on the problem with Christmas presents

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- Credit: Archant

I am gradually amassing a large pile of Christmas presents in my bedroom; my husband, not usually the complaining type, mutters about not being able to reach his sock drawer because of the volume of the pile and wonders aloud whether our grandchildren will really appreciate the number of gifts we have for them.

I won’t tell him about the other things I’ve been buying all year – but since I’m not sure where I’ve hidden them, I’ll worry about that when the time comes.

Christopher doesn’t realise that he’s my biggest problem, gift-wise, as he insists that he has all that he needs; what do you give the man who has everything and a birthday on January 6 too!

But I’m in good company. God had a problem with presents. For centuries, God had given the people of Israel so much – land to settle on, milk and honey to eat and good people to lead them – but still, like children at Christmas, they fought among themselves and said: “Can’t you send a Messiah, a King, someone who will sort out our problems for us?” (They had clearly not heard about the Resilience Agenda.)

So God decided to give the best possible gift, to come to earth to live as a human being, to have some flesh in the game, to show us how to live as loving, generous, merciful people so that all creation can flourish and grow. Jesus did not come with glossy wrappings or instructions and his goodness was a problem for many but that gift from God is what we celebrate at Christmas.

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