As we approach the New Year – we have as a Church gathered on several occasions to celebrate the birth of the Hope of the World – Jesus Christ. I preached before Christmas at St Nicholas’, that if we choose to really follow the teaching of Jesus Christ then -‘how quickly our world could change’. Our world could change if we said words like “I’m sorry” to those we were estranged from, “forgive me” to those we had wronged, “use me”, “guide me” or “cleanse me” to God in order to make him the centre of our lives. That is quite a challenge, and if you felt that after too much Turkey the challenge of the Gospel – good news, would simply disappear amongst our own overeating and tiredness – then think again!
Our reading from Colossians doesn’t lower the bar so we may, in our post-Christmas heavier state, just limp over it. No – it raises the bar even higher by issuing us with the challenge of the Christian life. ‘Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other’. Clearly this is written by a man that has never spent a Christmas Day with the in-laws! But there it is in black and white – followed by the words ‘above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony’. As Christians the bar seems high and it is – for we can only achieve it with the help of the Holy Spirit. But if we do aim high and invite the Holy Spirit to help us then we might also grow as Samuel and Jesus grow in wisdom, stature and favour.