Christmas Newsletter

November 18, 2017

 

Dear Friends,

 

I wish it could be Christmas everyday’

 

I bet you are singing the next line right now, aren’t you? I am, the children think I have gone a bit crazy!

 

Why? Because It’s the middle of November as I write this but I have already heard that song three times. By the time Christmas comes I think I will be sick of it!

 

The glam rock band Wizard have a lot to answer for!

 

I don’t want it to be Christmas every day, although having the church full of people every day of the week would have its upsides and probably really impress the Bishops. Come to think of it..  the collection would also be awesome and I do like mince pies….

 

No, forget it .. it would be exhausting!

 

As much as we like to think Christmas could be as repeat itself as much as the song chorus does, it’s not good to be in celebration mode all of the time and I really couldn’t eat mince pies solidly for more than a month.

 

I am not a humbug by any means, Christmas is one of my favourite times to be a Vicar. But it does remind me how much as a society we hate to wait for things. Or cynically, perhaps that is what we are told by the people that want us to spend our money with them.

 

The church calls the four weeks leading up to Christmas day ‘Advent’ and it is a distinct time of waiting and preparation, building up to the belief that God literally came to earth in the form of that baby Jesus Christ. It is one of the pinnacles of the Christian calendar. Whereas God was once thought of as distant and fierce, because of that baby we became to learn just how much we are loved and how much God rejoices when we turn to him.  So, Most of December is set aside to prepare for this, and to ponder what it means for our own lives.

 

I have come to learn through advent that there is a beauty in waiting… when else do you feel that anticipation, that sense of being alert and put all the energy that goes into preparation?  It is a deeply satisfying time that ends in a much deeper sense of fulfilment and celebration.

 

It is helped by reading the old testament prophets, who talked about the coming of Jesus for hundreds of years before it actually happened. They lived, generation after generation, thinking it might happen on their watch. But it didn’t. All they could do is wait, and prepare. enjoying the sense that they were part of something bigger than themselves.

 

Come and see us at Christmas, be a part of something bigger. Come and be immersed into the awe and wonder of this amazing story that has been told afresh for thousands of years. And when the 25th December arrives, ‘let the bells ring out for Christmas’ and play Wizard at top volume. Just make sure it’s not next door to the Vicarage!

 

Your Vicar,

 

Paul

 

 

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