PASTORAL LETTER

 

From the Minister’s desk:

 Dear Friends,
Have you noticed? Christmas is coming! We are nearly there!
 We are about to celebrate the awesome miracle of the incarnation, the word we use to describe that moment when God became a human person in Christ. We will be reminded once more of some of the greatest words in the Bible:
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14
We will be confronted with the mysteries of “God became Man” of the Creator becoming the Creature and of Jesus being 100% human and 100% divine at the same time – and no doubt conclude that although we have enjoyed wrestling with these concepts once more – it is beyond our understanding.
I hope too that we will take time to recall the story of the Nativity. The miracle of the conception when “power from on high”, the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” Mary (Luke 1: 35). The great courage and obedience of Mary and Joseph; the long journey to Bethlehem; the struggle to find somewhere to sleep and have their baby. The pain of childbirth and that moment of hearing babies first cry. The first time Jesus, the saviour of the world was held, kissed and fed. Expressed here in a poem by Alan Harris:

What is this stillness in the stable?
What glow is here within our hearts?
Who lies so small between us?
Far more seems given us in this bed than infant pounds and length
how weigh, how measure possibilities?
Although just now our baby sleeps,
his waking eyes reveal an inner light
some holy mystery within our keep.
We bow.
We love.
We are silent
http://www.alharris.com/holidays/pdf/cr.pdf

 

“How weigh, how measure possibilities” indeed – when the angels appeared to the shepherds they did so not to give the news of the everyday occurrence of a new born baby, but to proclaim the “Good News of great joy”; of the birth of the saviour of the world, the long-awaited Messiah.
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2: 10 – 12.

 

You cannot separate the birth from the death and resurrection. Christmas and Easter go hand in hand to proclaim the greatest news of all time that:

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Eternal life, the greatest ever gift, is available to all who put their trust in Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world whose birth we celebrate on Christmas day…

 

God bless you and your families this Christmas with the joy of this Good News.

Your friend, Rev Denise Binks