Christmas Devotion: A Reflection

As we approach Christmas, BUW President Bill Davies reminds of the heart and core of this time. Between the familiar and reassuring elements of this time of year, and the stark instability of our world, the call is the same as ever…

“Are you having turkey this year?”

“Will you be at home for Christmas?”

“Are the family coming over at some point?”

Here are some of the typical questions we are usually asked this time of year. Adverts are ever-changing, and remind us constantly that Christmas is coming, and that it is a fresh opportunity to spend more money on luxury items like expensive perfumes or exotic alcoholic drinks, and mouthwatering chocolates!

One of the popular supermarket slogans a year or two ago was, “The best thing about Christmas is the food!” I wonder?

One of the supermarkets wanted to create “the character of Christmas”.

Is there not a special character who has already been “created” centuries ago? I heard another claiming: “Christmas will be great this year.”

Why the emphasis on this year? Christmas is special and is an occasion to be celebrated every year, and has been for 2,000 years!

Christmas is also a time to prepare the children’s nativity play for church. I am full of admiration for those people who prepare a different presentation each year, and it is good to see the children and young people enjoying performing in their own unique and special way.

A poem by Gwyn Thomas comes to mind, the poem which talks about the children preparing for their Christmas presentation:

“O bryd i’w gilydd, yn yr ymarferion,

Bydd cega go hyll rhwng bugeiliaid a doethion,

A dadlau croch, weithiau, ymysg angylion

A bydd waldio pennau’n demtasiwn wrthnysig…..’’

“ From time to time, in the rehearsals,

There’ll be ugly bad-mouthing between shepherds and wise men,

And vehement arguments, sometimes, amongst angels

And walloping a few heads will have to be averted…” (translation, SG)

I enjoy giving gifts to family members and close friends at Christmas… and receiving some too, I must admit! But the best gift that we were ever given, each one of us, was the gift given to us by God.

The New Testament says: “In this the love of Christ was shown towards us: that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we can live through Him.’’

Yes, Jesus – the Son of God, the Light of the World, and the Prince of Peace.

It is easy to forget the majesty and magnitude of Christmas as we are taken in and charmed by what the world has to offer us on the 25th of December.

Gwyn Thomas closes his poem like this:

“Ar noson y ddrama, bydd pawb yn deulu;

Bydd diniweidrwydd gwyn yr actorion

Yn troi pethau cyffredin yn wyrthiol, yn eni………

Fe ddywedir eto nad yw Duw ddim yn darfod.’’

“On the night of the play, everyone becomes family;

The pure innocence of the actors

Turns the mundane things miraculous – a birth….

It is said again: ‘God does not die’. (translation, SG)

This Christmas however we also realise that it is a turbulent time in the history of the world. How many wars are ongoing today? Does anyone know?

We remember especially the Middle East on the threshold of celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace who showed us a life filled with love towards man and towards God. “We walk together in peace and harmony.”

May the peace of this holy day and festival rest in our hearts this Christmas, and throughout the new year.

The Reverend O.M. Lloyd gave us this englyn (stanza – a short epigrammatic poem):

‘’Nadolig Llawen, deulu, – a heddwch

A rhoddion o bobtu;

Mynnwn yn hwyl ein gŵyl gu

A’i saig fras gofio’r Iesu.’’

“Merry Christmas, family, – and peace

       And gifts from all directions;

   We demand in the festivities of the beloved festival

   And its rich feasts, to remember Jesus.” (translation, SG)

Bill Davies.

BUW President (Welsh-Language Wing)

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