We "own" Christmas
At the Carol Celebration last Friday, Simon was pointing people to this website to find out more about what is going on in the church at the moment. He gave out the website address and commented "yes - we actually own Christmas".
We are very grateful to those who made sure we got this domain name when it became available (and, incidentally, www.easter.org.uk as well) It gives us all sorts of capacity to do interesting things and make material available.
Of course, it doesn't mean we own Christmas.
That would be a daft idea.
But then I wonder. Who does "own" Christmas; it can feel like it belongs to the retail sector, with all the push to buy - presents, food, drink, clothes....the never ending adverts and expectations. Or it belongs to the media, writing about what Christmas is, what Christmas should be, what Christmas used to be and what is to become of Christmas.
Or the entertainment industry - blockbuster films released for Christmas, special television programmes, theatre events, music releases.... Or the charities, as this season gives a good and important moment to make special appeals. Or to families; all the "going home for Christmas" motif, which assumes that home is a good place to be - and that there is a particular way (albeit it with more variations these days) to be a family.
Or even the shrinking churches, as we find at this time a good opportunity to make contact with people who are otherwise not interested in what we are about.
Or perhaps the answer should be God. After all, as a good preacher, that's the kind of thing In a am supposed to say.
But I wonder.
If the Incarnation is what we have historically believed it to be, surely it is not about God owning anything.
Surely it is about God giving away...