THE RECTOR WRITES
I am sure that, like me, if someone had suggested this time last year what life would be
like as we enter Advent
this year, you would have found it totally unbelievable!
Last year we were entering the run-up to Christmas with the usual expectations of carol
services and Christingles,
school Nativity plays and concerts, gatherings of family and
friends, office parties and opportunities to browse around
the shops for the perfect gift.
year however there is much uncertainty about how we shall be allowed to celebrate
and as I write this we are in lock-down
for the second time this year. Many people are
experiencing unemployment, bereavement, illness, loneliness and anxiety
there is now a glimmer of hope of a vaccine on the horizon, as the winter nights grow
darker it really
seems as though there is little to look forward to. For most people
Christmas this year will be different and there will
be a mixture of joy, sorrow, fear, hope
and delight, as well as memories, both happy and difficult.
But whilst we may well be confined to listening to carols on the radio rather than
singing them at a carol service, or watching a tea-towel clad grandchild on Zoom rather
than in real life,
there is of course one constant that we can look forward to this and
every Christmas and that is the child whose birth
we celebrate; Jesus Christ, Emmanuel
- ‘God with us'. Born as a baby in a humble stable into all the messiness
of our world,
through Jesus God entered into our experience of being human with all its laughter and
What we can easily miss
is that what happened that day in a dirty Bethlehem stable
actually changed the world and can still change the lives
of all people everywhere. What
is important is not that we know a lot of interesting facts about Jesus which prove that
he is the best man who ever lived, but that his life, death and resurrection can make a
dramatic difference to our
lives, if we allow him in.
and however you find yourself celebrating Christmas this year, my prayer
is that you will have a blessed and peaceful
time and that you will find room for the one
constant, Jesus Christ, ‘God with us', in your heart.