People can find this a lonely time of year. This is, needless to say, very understandable since, for some, it may be the first Christmas a family comes to terms with the death of a loved family member. It could also be the first Christmas that a child, brother or sister is away from home and living abroad. It can be a reminder of times past and the happiness parents sought to bring to the home – parents who have now gone to their Eternal Home. Sadly too, for others, it might be a reminder of tense times in the home – the result of maybe too much drinking or rows. Yes, there are many and justifiable reasons to find this a less than a happy or indeed peaceful time.
For those who have been bereaved we pray strength and blessing of memories this year. Your strength truly lies in knowing that those gone seek nothing but your happiness. No delight for them to think of you being unhappy, confused, burdened or in any way unable to be the people you can be. It’s a time of ,respectful memory but a time too, to allow the child that is your future be born, breathe and feel the full and gentle potential that is its future. In doing this, there is no forgetting of what has gone before – rather a gratitude for the “womb” – the “you” that protected, nourished and accompanied your loved ones – especially so at their darkest hour.
If sadly we have memories of Christmas “past” being unhappy because of the actions of people who should have known better and being better, then there’s surely a call to us to ensure nobody coming after us will have such memories because of anything we say or do, fail to say or fail to do.
We’re with the “inn-keeper” who made room, even