We had never been to a Christmas market. So last December we packed up the campervan and headed for Edinburgh. There, on a freezing, windswept Princes Street, we savoured all on offer. The noise, the lights, the aromas, the tastes, the sheer variety of all that was on offer – amazing!
The market was dominated by the great Ferris Wheel. Its lit, moving frame filled the skyline like a Catherine Wheel on bonfire night. The music playing from it filled the air. And, judging by the crowds waiting to sample it, it was the most popular attraction of the fair. Did we go on it.....did we heck!!
By contrast, in a small, obscure corner was a stall selling simple nativity sets. Beautifully carved in mellow wood and delicately lit to full effect, they encapsulated the Christmas story. There weren't many people at the stall but those who were seemed captivated, moved in heart and spirit. As were we!
The sole aim of our life is to seek God. This is why we were created. In him alone is our true joy. But are we looking in the right places? It's so tempting to think that God is in the special, the attractive, the eye-catching, the wonder and the worship. But perhaps he is really to be found in the ordinary and the obscure, the people and events we overlook and neglect.
The truth of Christianity is not about our seeking God. It's about God seeking us. In every and any situation, God is there, waiting to be known. But maybe supremely he comes through those people we disregard, marginalise and shun – the poor, the refugee, the immigrant. Even those in our own community whom we fail to notice! Can we see God in his love desperately trying to reach out to us through them? Let those who have eyes to see, see!
David Wood : Advent 2020