Monthly Newsletter

Dear Friends,

It’s almost Christmas!  I really enjoy this time of year.  I enjoy preparing for Christmas, the advent and Christmas carols, the markets and stalls, the children’s excitement, the ginger bread, mince pies and Stollen, the fairy lights and decorations.  I even like the colder weather; so long as I have a place to warm up at the end of the day.  I thank the Lord that I am so blessed with comfort and a loving and healthy family.

Yet I know Christmas can be a sad time also.  It can be a reminder of lost loved ones.  A time of loneliness.  It can be a time where financial pressures become unbearable- when the cost of heating means some won’t have a place to warm up at the end of the day, or there will be no special Christmas dinner.  How do we thank the Lord for our blessings knowing there are so many who are struggling in poverty?

I believe the answer lies in the manger.  The baby Jesus is born in a messy, smelly place.  It was an unsuitable place for Mary to give birth.  Jesus was laid in the manger – a place where animals fed, not a kingly palace.  The baby Jesus is present in poverty, in unclean spaces, in messy situations.   Our God, in this tiny and vulnerable baby goes where we prefer not to go and in the darkness of those unpleasant situations, reaches out to us with love and brings forgiveness, reconciliation and joy.   

And we are to do the same – to reach out to others who have less – to be with them in practical ways and with love. This is how we thank the Lord for our blessings.  In doing so, it brings out the best in us and shares the true meaning of Christmas with others.  God is with us and that is tangible.  The Christ child in the manger - this is The Christmas gift. 

Warmest Christmas blessings – now and always,