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The New York Times once asked the various diplomats at the United Nations what they hoped for at Christmas.
The British ambassador eventually received the phone call.
‘What do you want for Christmas?’
He replied that, no, really, he couldn’t accept anything. The reporter pressed him and eventually the ambassador made what he thought was quite a modest suggestion.
And so it was that, on Christmas Eve, the New York Times revealed the Russian ambassador’s wish for greater cooperation among the nations of the world. The French ambassador hoped for an end to Third World poverty. The German ambassador hoped the countries of the world would come together to tackle climate change.
There were many others in the same vein.
And then, at the end, was the sentence: ‘The British ambassador asked for a box of chocolates.’
What do you wish for this Christmas?
I’ve made my annual request for a train set, but I don’t expect I’ll get it. Again.
I’m approaching this Christmas with mixed feelings. This has been one of those years when it seemed as if Christmas just couldn’t get here soon enough.
I also find Christmas this year to be more challenging and difficult than usual. Perhaps we all do.
What I wish for this Christmas is that the promise of Christmas will not leave us unchanged.
It might take a while to recognise and live into this change, but the promise is trustworthy and true.
To us ‘is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ, the Lord’.
And that is ‘good news of great joy for all people’ in every time, in every place, and in every life.
Reverend William Crossan, Lorne and Lowland Parish Church, Campbeltown.