Column: Day a delivery man walked up the aisle during a service

Rt Rev Geoff Pearson, Bishop of Lancaster
Rt Rev Geoff Pearson, Bishop of Lancaster

I have succumbed this year to internet shopping and as the brown parcels arrive I am reminded of the strange Sunday visit of a man from Amazon with a parcel for the bishop.

He simply marched into the little rural church next door to where I live during the morning service and walked down the aisle to deliver his parcel to the person in robes at the front. There was no acknowledgement of a service of worship, no uncomfortableness with 40 plus people in their pews.

This man was on a mission and nothing would deter him from getting that parcel into the right hands. He had no idea of what was going on around him. No sense of the bigger picture!

Actually we can all be like that at Christmas. So much to do with presents to buy, cards to send, trees to decorate, parties to prepare for.

Like Amazon Man we are so focussed on our own agenda that we can find ourselves missing something important.

It happened that first Christmas when the religious leaders couldn’t be bothered to walk a few miles to check things out.

King Herod missed out because he felt threatened by a baby and how many innkeepers were sorry later on that they had said ‘no’ to such a holy family?

Meanwhile the shepherds were able to turn aside from looking after sheep to go in search of a saviour.

And the wise men stopped at last from all that travelling to find this unique family. They in turn not only stopped, but the record says that they bowed down and worshipped.

Let us not be so head down and frazzled, busy with the Christmas bits and pieces that we miss the big picture: The Word made flesh – Glory to the newborn King – He came down to earth from heaven who is God and Lord of all – Peace to people on earth.

It’s a message our weary world certainly needs to hear.

This Christmas are we ‘Amazon man’ or woman – busy but somehow missing the heart of it all. Or are we wise men and women – who, amidst the busyness and excitement are able to stop and see the big picture; a picture that offers hope in the midst of despair and light in our darkness?

We may even find ourselves bowing down to worship.