Do this Radio slot every few weeks and though as it was Christmas I would put my script here
"Christmas always makes me think of my favourite Uncle Dieter
Uncle Dieter was not only very tall but also very large. A German Jew who had fled the Nazis to avoid the holocaust, he had a fine sense of humour ,a determination to say exactly what he thought,a love for good food and wine and a penchant for quoting and invoking the names of Catholic saints
Nearly every Christmas he and Aunt Dorothy and their children would come to our childhood home in Wem to celebrate Christmas with us.
Like most children we would get up very very early on Christmas day ,open our stockings and feast on the chocolate Father Christmas and obligoratory Tangerine Then still dressed in our pyjamas and saying sssh! to each other in loud whispers-we would tip toe down the stairs as quietly as we could and dash over to the heavily decorated Christmas tree and start to prod and poke at all the presents under the tree, discerning perhaps a toy gun from mum and dad here, and the usual socks and postal order from Granny over there
I vividly remember being totally focused on this enthralling enterprise one year -I was what sports people describe as being "in the zone"
When a booming voice came from the top of the stairs in a thick German accent
"Get Back to Bed " No not Father Christmas Uncle Dieter had caught us again!
We didnt want to wait -He ensured we did !
We are moving quickly now through Advent the waiting is almost over,the excitement is rising The shopping days are running out ,the tree is up ,the cards should have been posted,the presents should be wrapped the day is almost here!
But what does Christmas mean to you? For some of us perhaps more than we care to admit Christmas is a sad time. sometimes its simply the season cannot bear the weight of expectation that is placed on it. In a recession there is no extra money to buy presents without getting into serious debt For some of you the pain of bereavement is even sharper at Christmas than at other times; for others relationships are put under enormous strain, and perhaps some of you have sons or daughters,or parents in Afghanistan
For others Christmas is great fun ,a time to eat drink and be merry , a time to party, enjoy family and friends ,food and laughter
And for Christians ,the clue to the meaning of Christmas is found in those simple words, that invite a lifetime's profound reflection, found in Johns gospel 'The Word was made flesh'.
thats the key to the authentic meaning of Christmas -the word became flesh -God became a human being he doesnt come to crush ,or dominate he comes as a vulnerable human being motivated by an awesome love
People often say if there is a God it is impossible to know Him
Christmas means If you want to know what God is like look at Jesus
His very name Jesus means -The Lord saves and that is truly good news for all people
When I am woken up early on Christmas day by children eager to open their presents I will get myself a cup of coffee , think of Uncle Dieter and smile
But I will also take time to reflect on the most profound truth of all ,That the word became flesh and dwelt among us and I invite you this Christmas to do the same