They say Christmas is really all about the children – and here at Cinnamon we couldn’t agree more. We love the anticipation of Christmas eve, the chocolate advent calendars and school nativity plays as much as anyone – but the main reason we love Christmas is the child it’s all about: Jesus.
There’s something truly profound about the hope of the world being wrapped in the tiny frame of a baby, born in a stable. From that small, vulnerable child grew the most remarkable man who has ever lived.
God sent his son as a baby – not because it makes for a cute tableau on a greetings card, but because there is something profoundly important about childhood. It’s not merely a stepping stone to adulthood, or the breath before real life starts – children are important right now.
Childhood threatened by poverty
And yet, childhood is being erased across our nation by poverty. New research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts an increase of more than a million in the number of children living in poverty, more than reversing all the progress made over the past 20 years.
This Christmas, millions of children in our nation won’t simply be missing out on presents from Santa; they’ll go without meals, heating and other essentials. In additional, many will experience the crushing sense that they don’t matter as much as their school friends.
Inequality at Christmas
At Christmas, the inequality seems at that much more acute. The talk of Father Christmas, the window displays, the TV ads and big Christmas rush all seem to highlight the huge divisions in our society.
And yet we know that through Jesus – born in the indignity of a borrowed stable and wrapped in rags, becoming a refugee for a period of time – the circumstances we find ourselves in do not diminish our value as individuals.
Everyone, and especially children, is precious in the eyes of God. For in Luke 18:16 we read, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
A New Kingdom
This Christmas, we want to acknowledge the work of our Cinnamon Recognised Projects who work with families and children across the country. It’s our prayer that as churches reach out to children and families with practical support this Christmas – that they will come to see their true value and worth in Christ.
We pray that Christmas will unite society around Jesus – the saviour who can to turn the tables on society, and establish a new kind of Kingdom where the hungry are fed, the weary find rest, those grieving are comforted and the weak are made strong.