It is so good to know that we are able to celebrate this wonderful time together despite all the uncertainties that continue to surround us

Earlier this autumn when it looked as though turkey might be off the menu, as lorry drivers were in short supply and the petrol pumps ran dry, we kept faith that Christmas would not be cancelled. But we also knew that Christmas is more than turkey and trimmings, that there is something more fundamental that cannot be cancelled or put at risk.

A few years ago the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, wrote a poem called ‘Christmas Calendar’. There is something of an emphatic chorus in it, an echo throughout the poem

He will come, will come,
will come

What we have experienced as a nation, as a global community, has challenged us in every way, at every level, and it has also brought with it huge disappointments – the things that we missed, that we weren’t able to do, the people we missed, the people we miss, the events that can never be recreated.

But Christians are never disappointed by God, for

He will come, will come,
will come

This is why year after year we gather to sing our carols and read the readings, to remind us of the God who comes, the God who is with us,
Emmanuel. But what is most surprising is what Rowan William’s poem

says in the final line
He will come like child.

The one we await with eager anticipation, this as in every year, will be born in tender vulnerability but will be our strength, your strength in the journey that lies ahead.  Have a very happy and joy-filled Christmas – for it will come.