People Matter to People
I was talking with an old mate of mine recently. He was attending a celebratory event to honour him and his career. My advice beforehand was that he should make sure that he was very ‘present’ throughout the event. It is easy in those settings to sort of blink and it’s all over. It is valuable to just slow yourself down in those settings, even stop just to look around and make sure that you really are present in the moment.
Of course, at this time of year, I am thinking of Christmas.
Your family might be like our family … massive preparations for Christmas Day lunch. One of us cooks the roast pork, another does the veggies. My brother-in-law cooks the curry. I myself ended up being the one responsible for the roast turkey. (Whoever gave me that responsibility was irresponsible 😊), but we all do our bit, and the final feast is fantastic.
Christmas can be a bit like other events that if we don’t actually make ourselves consciously ‘present’, we can miss the main thing. We can easily find we are crawling into bed the night of Christmas Day, with a feeling that we sort of missed it all.
Christmas is a special event in the Christian calendar. Many of you know that the origin of Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Jesus arrived on earth in the same sort of way that we all did. He was born. And like some of our MCC community, he was born into a very poor family, away from his home, rather like a refugee because his traditional homeland was under invasion by a foreign force. We Christians believe that Jesus was the human version of God, or God in human form. The great Creator appeared among us, starting off as a baby, growing into a boy, becoming a man, yet being truly God.
So … because baby Jesus represents the arrival on earth of God in human form, the whole message of Christmas is that people matter. God saw that people matter so much that he was prepared to appear among people, and look like, act like, live like, be like a normal person. He even suffered like a normal person… all of this so that he would be able to show us how much God loves people.
People matter and being present for people matters. Life on earth is short and taking one another for granted, I think, is sinful. We are all a gift to each other, and events like Christmas are wonderful because they compel us to get together. In the busy-ness of the event, let’s still take some time to stop, look, listen to who is there and get a feel for where their heart is at. Loving others means listening, and amid the commercialised shouting that overtakes Christmas, it is easy to forget to listen to one another. It is easy to forget to be present.
People matter, and Christmas reminds us how much people matter.
David Gleeson, Principal