Do you ever get any odd, unwanted or inappropriate Christmas presents?

They often come from relatives who don't know you very well. My wife's godmother, whose funeral took place recently, was very diligent in making contact every

Christmas and birthday with a present by post to her god-daughter, but what was unwrapped was a bit of a lottery, and often wildly inappropriate. Once I remember being given liqueur chocolates, (not my favourite, and anyway I was only 13 at the time).

The very best Christmas presents in my experience come from those who know you best - who know your needs and what you like. Not, of course, that Christmas is all about receiving gifts. Or is it?

For right at thet heart of Christmas is what God has given us. And God know us better than anyone. At Christmas we remember his gift to his all, Jesus "to you this day is born, in the city of David, a Saviour". He knows what we need, he knows what we so desperately want. At the moment, our nation is going though a period of great uncertainty. The economy, particularly, is facing great challenges, and we may consequently have worries about Brexit, interest rates and levels of debt. Our healthcare system is under-resourced by all accounts, and naturally many people are concerned that the NHS will be able to meet their needs.

I honestly believe that is we realy needed more money, God would have sent us an economist. If we needed to laugh more, he would have sent us an entertainer. But we needed to be rescued from ourselves and reconciled to God, so he sent us a saviour, called Jesus, because, "he will save the people from their sins".

This present of forgiveness and friendship from God himself is, I believe, what we all want and what we all need. This present has your name on it!! and - it'sfrom the God who made you and knows you better than anyone.

I hope you have a memorable Christmas.

Rev. Steve Weston