BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day
© John Denney 17 December 2007
It's a busy time for churches in the run-up to Christmas. I've already taken part in three carol services and I'm looking forward to BBC Radio Leicester's "Sing Christmas" next Thursday in my local pub. Then there's the regular services next Sunday, and the Christmas Eve visits to the Night Shelters and homeless hostels, followed by midnight communion and then the delight of the Christmas Day service, with all the children showing us the toys they've had for Christmas.
You know, there are thousands - maybe millions - of people who come to church just the once in the year. Even Richard Dawkins, the arch-atheist, says that he is a cultural Christian and will be singing carols this Christmas. There's something strong and powerful and comforting and reassuring in a carol service. The story of how Jesus was born in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. And we like being reminded of what happened then, and singing about it, and thanking God for the gift of Jesus, even if we don't give him much thought the rest of the year.
And like the shepherds and the wise men in the Bible reports, what we are doing as we sing "Ding Dong merrily on high" and "While Shepherds watched" and all those other familiar songs and hymns, what we are doing is worshipping Jesus, the newborn who is also King of the Universe. And enjoying it.
 "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin, most famously recorded by Bing Crosby
 Traditional Carol
 "I wish it could be Christmas Every Day" by Roy Wood, recorded by Wizzard
 "Merry Xmas Everybody" by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea and recorded by Slade.