Joanne Roberts, from Micah Community Church in south east London, explains the true meaning of the special day and how it is celebrated by the Christian community.
The festive season offers us a unique opportunity to press pause on the bustle around us. To contemplate an earth-shattering moment that changed the world forever. The stars realigned, a virgin gave birth and a powerful and passionately loving God became flesh - like His creation.
Jesus was born.
Even more astounding is the reason He came. He came as a gift to us; to die for our sins so that we could enter into a relationship with God that would change our lives forever.
The ways that we as Christians celebrate this amazing event is as diverse as the world we live in. Whether it’s quiet contemplation, lively singing, enacting the nativity or contemporary productions - they are all outward expressions of an inward relationship.
This is no escape to a far away land, where we suspend our disbelief and have a feel-good fest. It is counter-cultural in a society where isolation and loneliness are epidemic due to fractured relationships and increasing pressures.
At Micah Community Church our style is informal and contemporary, with heart-felt songs of praise, dancing and prayer to celebrate the life manifest through the birth of Jesus.
As members of the church family we are encouraged to contribute, whether it’s a song on the trumpet from a senior member or a youth-led dance routine, spoken word performance or an inspiring message.
But it’s not just for the benefit of one another.
We offer this haven to anyone seeking refuge from the pressures of the holiday and seeking to know a deeper truth. Reaching outward to the community around us through our gatherings around food and music, our traditional Christmas meal with a Caribbean twist is lovingly prepared by members, and our Christmas Fair is well worth a visit. All are welcome to our banquet table.
At Micah we provide a haven from the stresses the holiday brings. We remind one another to look upward and return to the simplicity and intimacy of a living relationship with Christ, our Lord.