‘Go on, ask him for something this Christmas’ says the Churches’ Christmas advert.
The baby Jesus, dressed in an unlikely Santa suit, rather than the traditional swaddling clothes makes us think, and will probably cause anguish and confusion to the parents of thousands of children. The Christmas poster from the Church’s Advertising Network has again prompted all kinds of disapproval. Even the least of the criticism complains about the apparent desecration of a beautiful old master picture of the nativity.
But it does its job. It was intended to surprise, and, with gentle irony, make people think about what we have done to the festival which marks the birth of God’s Son. The meaning can be distorted or lost in all the events and all the products which claim the title of “Christmas” but have little to do with the Christian celebration of the incarnation.
The poster, of course, just adds to the confusion. But it’s only intended to point people to the places where the real message of Christmas is proclaimed — in churches of all denominations throughout the land, all marking Christmas in their own special ways.
All churches acknowledge that Christmas began with the best Christmas present in history, God’s greatest gift to the world.
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
So, for the real message and meaning of Christmas, celebrated in carols, in scripture, in teaching, in drama and liturgy, come to church, and have a real Christmas. Ask him for something.