Family White have always enjoyed the ‘Christmas Family Gathering’—a time when family, (mostly) enjoy being together. I wouldn’t say that we are an average family in terms of how we view ‘the meaning of Christmas’—and that’s because there are those among us who see Christmas as a time for family but, sadly, not a lot more than that. But there are a few of us for whom Christmas has, a more than, special place.
It was the day before Christmas Eve 1975, a group from work had ventured down to one of the rather picturesque pubs in the village of Hamble (Hampshire). Most of my companions would have been typical of the average Brit in the seventies—they would have viewed Christmas as a time for family—for ‘eating, drinking and making merry’. As a result of the latter, in this most idyllic pub, there arose a rather unfortunate incident in which two ‘friends’ came to blows. For some unknown (at the time at least) reason I found myself up on my feet wrestling these two men (who I’d never met before) apart—appealing to them on behalf of the ‘real meaning of Christmas’. At the time I was an unbeliever and had no idea whether or not there was any ‘meaning’ to Christmas—indeed whether there was any meaning in anything much. Christmas for me was, indeed, all about family.
It wasn’t long after the Christmas of 1975 that I, an absolute unbeliever, had come to put my life into ‘the hands’ of the baby in a manger who (we have very reasonable grounds for believing) was the ‘Incarnate Son of God’. I would never have dreamed that I would have become a follower of this ‘babe-in-a-manger’ caricature that ordained (at least then) the front of Christmas cards. Who would have thought that I— a most unlikely person would have committed a major part of his time engaging in the work of making Christ known—especially through his engagement in the work of apologetics –helping others see the reasonableness of the Christian Faith—indeed helping people discover, not just ‘the reason for the season’ but the reason for celebration.
One of my favourite verses in the New Testament is John1:1—which reads: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (in principio erat Verbum et Verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat Verbum).
Christmas 1975 was, for me, the beginning of a journey of faith and discovery; since then I have not only discovered that faith in ‘the baby in the manger’ was ‘reasonable’ but that it was essential for salvation. Who would have thought that the baby-in-a-manger would to be the one to whom kings would bow down?
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Have you seen HIM?
PS. I am so looking forward to the ‘White’ Christmas. Colour pics to follow…
 The word Apologetics comes from the Greek word ‘apologia’—meaning ‘giving a defence’ for faith in Christ; for confidence in the Scriptures as they pertain to ‘reasonable faith’.