This post is being written from my BlackBerry App since we are currently away from Cambridge and I don’t have internet access in our current location (other than the BB!) Currently we are at Mrs Nomad’s mum’s, which is in the part of London/Surrey that we lived in prior to our move to Cambridge. Tomorrow I will be preaching in one of the churches in the Circuit that I candidated from. In Methodist terms I am spending Christmas “at home” – since this is where Mrs Nomad grew up she is most definitely “at home” here.
Earlier I went and had a lovely Amaretto Latte in a coffeeshop that for more than a year I was a regular customer at. I went in frequently, and almost regularly as clockwork I would be in there on a Friday afternoon, drinking a latte or cappacino, eating a slice of cake, and writing my sermon for the upcoming Sunday. It felt very strange being in there today, no longer a regular, no longer recognised by the friendly staff. Tomorrow will also no doubt feel odd, preaching at a church where I am no longer listed on the plan as a member of Circuit Staff and Local Preacher but as a Visiting Preacher whose address clearly shows I am Student Minister.
I might feel a little out of place in a place that was once home, that was once familiar, but in many ways I am lucky. I am staying with family, and on Boxing Day we will travel onwards to the place I will always call home; I will be spending time with friends, at church and at home; I have health, and happiness, and a roof over my head, and wealth. This Christmas there will be many without some or all of those things.
And it is for them, just as much, if not more so, as me, that the first Christmas happened. God came to earth, born a baby, “little, weak and helpless” as the hymn-writer said, not so as to be a powerful, tyrannical king who would crush his enemies, but a humble, servant-king, who would raise up the down-trodden, heal the sick, release the bound, and love his enemies.
However and wherever you find yourself this year I wish you a merry Christmas, full of the comfort and joy of the Word become flesh, of God Incarnate, of the infinite Triune One lying on a bed of straw.
Travel and celebrate well,