‘Driving home for Christmas’, sang Chris Rea in one of those classic Christmas songs from the eighties, ‘can’t wait to see their faces ….’

The Christmas story we celebrate at this time, also speaks of a journey -  ‘God made man for us on earth’ is how a man called Sir John Betjeman puts it in one  of his poems. There in that manger, born in poverty, born in obscurity, there just over thirty years later the one dying apparently defeated hanging on a cross, the one who one of the early Christian writers, trying to make sense of the Jesus story, would go on to describe in one of the striking phrases of the NT, as ‘the image of the invisible of God’.

It’s an image captured so well for us this year by a year six pupil called Jimmy, from one of the Church schools in Lincolnshire, who designed the card we sent out as Bishops (see below).

Light from a star shining down on the manger, a donkey who it has to be admitted has more than a passing resemblance to a unicorn, gazing on in wonder. There for all those who have eyes to see

the one who Christians believe shows the world what God is like

the one who Christians believe shows us how life is to be fully lived

the one who shows us what love is like in its purest form.

‘The world would be a better place, if we could have more sweets’ says one of the poems in the book we gave to Jimmy as part of his prize for designing our card, and maybe it would, certainly enough eaten at this time of the year – but God’s answer, God’s gift that we remember at this time of year, is a gift that goes beyond the sugar rush of sweets, a gift that enables us to know how loved we are, and enables us to then love those around us in return.

There in the manger, for those with eyes to see, the ‘image of the invisible God’. That’s why the world celebrates today. I hope you have a really great Christmas, and when it comes an even better New Year!