CHURCHES COLUMN: Jesus is not someone to be packed away after Christmas

I wonder if you have taken your decorations down yet? asks Rev Jo Parker, of St Mark’s Church, Leamington Spa.

Let Jesus into your life throughout the year

There is much excitement in our house when they go up and the Christmas cards begin to drop through the letter box, but it is usually me who quietly takes everything down.

It means I put everything away, brushing up pine needles and smashed baubles on the way, and rearranging the furniture, sometimes in a completely new way and sometimes back to the old, familiar room layout.

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There is something rather special about reclaiming the space and moving forward into the new year.

Christmas is over, everyone has gone back to where they came visiting from, and life goes back to whatever counts for normal. Many of us pack up Jesus with all of the other stuff we pack away.

We tuck him down amongst the baubles and tinsel, ready to be unpacked again in a year’s time when we listen to the story of shepherds and angels and a baby in the manger again.

I believe that the God who came to Earth more than 2,000 years ago as a vulnerable baby, named Emanuel – which means God with us – longs to journey with us all into the new year and not to be tucked up and put in the attic for another year.

This God, who loves us and loves this world so much, wants all of us to know how much we are loved and waits for us to turn to Him.

This God listens to the words we cry out in prayer, or in desperation, and comes to meet us in our joys and sorrows.

He truly is God with us in every part of our lives.

Christmas may be over and you may already be rushing in to your new year with all its possibilities and challenges, but why not take Jesus with you this year?

Get to know this God who you celebrate every year at carol services and Christingles.

Who knows where it will take you.