Revd Richard Reade
Revd Anne Phillips
A Merry Christmas to you all when it arrives (Though as I write this in November it seems the decorations & seasonal songs have already been going on for weeks!). As the winter nights draw in and it gets darker earlier, the imagery in the Christmas Carol Service takes on quite a powerful meaning −
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness − on them light has shined" (Isaiah 9:2)
"The light shines in the darkness & the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5)
As we proclaim frequently, Jesus is the light of the world. At a time when things seem dark and there is great uncertainty and a lack of trust in political authority, we have the assurance of God´s faithfulness − trust and obey, as the old hymn says.
The message of Christmas is one of hope and trust. In the baby in the manger, the Lord of the Universe takes on our humanity, becomes one with us; becomes one of us in order to demonstrate the extent of Divine Love for creation. Jesus Christ dignifies our humanity and through His ministry and faithfulness even to the Cross, He opens to us the promise of eternal life; of fellowship in the presence of the Divine Trinity.
If God had come amongst us as a glorious conquering hero, then people might have followed through a mixture of fear and compulsion. But the Lord calls us to follow through vulnerability and the risk of love. The Christmas story, with all its added on traditions, speaks to our hearts − a refugee family with no place to stay; a baby born in the place where animals were kept; strangers coming to pay homage drawn by a vision of angels and light. Jesus reveals to us the height and depth of God´s love for us and it is that we come to celebrate and to recommit ourselves in the service of the Faithful One; the One who loves us to the very depths of our being.
Come and join us this Festive Season and give thanks for that Divine Love and faithfulness
With every blessing