St Lucy’s Day falls on Wednesday. There’s a cosy Christmas Market in Berlin, held around 13th December, which is named ‘Lucia’ in her honour. Although it suits Berliners perfectly, the Market’s customs are Scandinavian, with Nordic huts, elk meatballs, salmon potato soup and Finnish waffles. And glühwein, of course, which is the same in any language.

But what a long way from the story of St Lucy, a young Roman noblewoman martyred in Sicily in the year 304 – her name associated with the Latin word ‘lux’, meaning ‘light’.

And what about ‘Christmas’? We’ve overlaid the story of Jesus’s birth with so many customs and obligations that the Babe of Bethlehem has all but disappeared under parties and presents. And with all our preparations comes the worry that we’re running out of time.

Stephen Cottrell (now Archbishop of York) once wrote a book called ‘Do Nothing - Christmas is coming’. I don’t suppose he meant ‘don’t celebrate’, but perhaps he meant ‘don’t complicate it’ and, most of all, ‘don’t miss it’.

The coming of Jesus showed how much God loves us. With his life, death and resurrection came the offer of new life for us all, with forgiveness, healing and peace beyond our wildest dreams.

So ‘not to miss Christmas’ might mean taking a moment to welcome Jesus into my life, my family, work, and relationships.

And then to party, of course, if that’s my thing – maybe even try the meatballs?

Written by Andrew Knowles of St George’s Church in Kendal.

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