From the Rectory
December 2010

We have a bumper edition of the Parish magazine over Christmas and New Year, and I hope that you enjoy reading all of the various articles. A big thank you to all who take the time to submit copy.

Christmas and New Year are times of great joy and celebration. We celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus in Bethlehem; The Light of the World which the darkness of the world has never been able to conquer. The New Year heralds new, yet to be disclosed secrets and beginnings, with a whole twelve months of the coming year to look forward to. As well as celebrating Christmas as so many do in the 21st. century, with little thought for its true meaning, there should also be a chance in our hectic lives to give thanks for all that we have to enjoy and keep us comfortable. So many will go without this Christmas, the poor, the lonely, and the homeless. The New Year may not hold out much hope for them. Let’s not forget them completely as we enjoy ourselves. A prayer would be a wonderful gift.

I read Richard Jacob’s article about ‘moaning’ with interest. I too despair at times at what I hear some ‘Christians’ at Christ Church say about one another. All would seem to have an opinion, and can be critical of what other people ‘do’. If more people ‘did’ perhaps there would be fewer to criticise those who ‘do’. The baby Jesus came to show us how to love one another. It’s a lesson that we should all take seriously. Christmas is a time when we have extra folk in Church, let’s show them that being Christian is a joyful thing; that we have the capacity to love and forgive, to welcome and to show God’s unconditional love in the world. Let that be your Christmas gift to your neighbours, whether you know them or not. It is a season of goodwill, isn’t it?

I spoke recently about people being asked to move seats in Church because they were sitting in someone’s seat. They stayed away from Church following that incident. I regret to say that I now hear that a mother and child were ushered into St. Monica’s chapel and the door shut on them because the child was making a noise. What do we think we are up to? Getting young people into Church is difficult enough and occupies much of mine and other people’s time. All of that can be sabotaged all too easily. Children are part of our Church and we are privileged to have them in our Church. We celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus at Christmas, is there still no room at the Inn for him? Surely we can do better than that. I cannot imagine an elderly person be ushered into the George Lee Room and the door shut on them because they were coughing!

I found this little ditty and it reminded me of Malcolm Harper’s harvest song.

The Twelve Leftovers of Christmas.

On the twelfth day of Christmas
I found upon the floor.
Twelve sprouts a-hiding
Eleven toys a-broken
Ten cardboard boxes
Nine lights not working
Eight dented baubles
Seven mince pies moulding
Six tins of biscuits
Five pairs of socks!
Four cards un-posted
Three selection boxes
2 sacks of paper
And a turkey we couldn’t quite eat.

Lysbeth and I wish each and every one of you a joy filled Christmas, may the Light of Christ shine upon you and the New Year give you cause for hope, and the opportunity to love as you are loved.

Yours for Christ's sake.