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Rector’s Letter – December 2018
‘Christ Centred – Community led’
December is the darkest month of the year in the northern hemisphere, yet it is in the darkest time of the year that we celebrate Christmas, the birth of new light, Jesus. To overcome the dark nights of winter we turn on the Christmas lights to warm our hearts, our homes, streets and workplaces. Light is important, and as we move nearer to Christmas we are reminded that Jesus is the true light of all. A favourite Jewish (Hasidic) story tells of a teacher who, near his death, brings his student into a dark forest. The teacher carries a lantern to guide them through the forest. Once they reach the heart of the forest, the teacher extinguishes the light. The student asks his teacher, “Will you leave me here in the darkness?” “No,” came the teacher’s response, “I will leave you searching for the light!”
Christmas is our reminder that Jesus was born that first Christmas into darkness; to a nation that was occupied, a family that was seeking to understand the consequences of a ‘Holy’ conception; shepherds flocking to see them, and angels singing of, ’Peace on earth and goodwill to all people’. This was no ordinary birth this was God’s new birth! The Christmas story involves ordinary people and asks some very searching questions about who we are and what we want – life, health, community, peace in all its fullness. It is in this light we find our way again, in a world that is crying out for light to overcome the darkness of pain, division and war. Jesus is our light and our salvation.
I want to encourage you all to read again the story of the first Christmas, to join us for our Carol and Christmas services, to bring light to our lives, to share in the story of new birth and new hope for all. This is a story that needs to be shared and lived out each day. But, if our celebrations are to be real, we will not be the same. We will be changed. Something of the ‘Word made flesh’ will have become part of us. We will discover that we can take the real meaning of Christmas – its truth, its spirit – with us into the New Year and beyond.
I look forward to welcoming you, your friends and family to share in the Advent & Christmas Services throughout the benefice, and to receive again the ‘light’ to lighten our lives and all around us.
With all blessings and good wishes for Advent, Christmas and New Year
Edward, Tara, Luke & Isabella