Minister's Message at Christmas

Christmas letter 2021

 

As we approach advent and Christmas, this year I seem to be drawn to the story of Mary.  Here is a young girl facing the unknown, having to deal with the inexplicable and the impossible, and not knowing how she is going to overcome, or indeed, even meet the demands placed upon her.  Life is no longer how it used to be.

As a young girl, she is visited by an angel, who tells her she is to carry the Son of God.  She has to explain it all to Joseph, and deal with the outrage of her community.  When heavily pregnant she travels to Bethlehem, when I am sure she would much rather have wrapped herself in blankets and made herself comfortable at home.  Having given birth in the most basic of circumstances, she then has to flee with her new family as Herrod tries to track them down.

How does she cope?  When the shepherds came visiting, telling her about the vision of angels and the message they gave them, Luke tells us that Mary, “treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart” (Lk 2: 20).

2021 has not been much easier than 2020.  Whilst we have returned to many activities, none of us feel that things have returned to normal, or if they ever will.  But Christmas still remains.  Christmas is a time for tradition and meeting friends and social gathering.  We may not be able to engage with such things in the same way again this year.  But Christmas still remains.  The Christmas adverts on tv seem to show that Christmas is all about food, furry turquoise animals and aliens.  But Christmas still remains.

It was her faith in God that enabled Mary to face an uncertain future.  The birth of a child a long way from home, visited by angels, and poor shepherds and foreign travellers, signalled the fulfilment of God’s promises, and Mary accepted and embraced her place in God’s plans.  May our faith enable us to accept our place in God’s plan for us, even if we are not sure what that might involve in these uncertain times.  For Christmas still remains.

As we hear the familiar Christmas story again this year, may we treasure all these words and ponder them in our hearts.

May I wish a peaceful and hope-filled Christmas, to you all, and to all those you love.

Martin

Angel & Mary

 

 


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