As 2016 draws to a close, all of us here at Cinnamon are looking to taking time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, surrounded by those who mean the most to us.
As we enter into the fullness of Christmas festivities, it’s important that we pause to remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Each year nearly 400,000 older people spend Christmas alone, with a similar number experiencing homelessness and 28% of children (3.9 million) in poverty. For many, Christmas is a time where they are reminded what they don’t have – whether that be the funds to buy presents, a bereaved partner or even a warm bed.
These statistics don’t exist to make us feel guilty, or dampen our own Christmas Day. Instead we share them to give us hearts of gratitude for what we have and spirits of generosity with what we have.
The good news is, the Local Church is fighting these statistics. Many of our recognised projects, such as Christmas Lunch on Jesus, Linking Lives UK and Housing Justice will be working in partnership with churches and thousands of volunteers this Christmas, reaching out to those less in need.
So as we gather with family, over-eat on chocolate and share gifts, let us pause to remember. Remember those who are alone, those who are homeless, those in poverty; and be thankful for the churches, charities and volunteers who are reaching out and making a difference.
Jesus came into the world in humble surrounds to offer hope to a broken world – let us remember this as our mission.
Our prayer is that we enter Christmas with hearts of gratitude and generosity, spreading the hope which Jesus came to bring, everywhere we go.