How are you preparing for Christmas? Well there will be plenty of glitter and glue, fun and food in our household as we prepare for Christmas this year as I’m sure there will be throughout the village, less glitter for you maybe!?
At Church too we’ll be preparing in a number of ways; contemplatively with our Advent study group with our Baptist friends beginning in late November, and then, creatively as we draw together the Crib with the nativity story at our Carol service on the 17th December. All our other services along with our Baptist friends services are listed in the magazine and it will be wonderful to celebrate Christmas together with you this year if you can join us at any of the services and events we will be holding.
Whilst we will undoubtedly enjoy lots of sparkle over the coming month and into the New Year, I know for many, this time of year will be hard for a variety of different reasons. In fact, there was certainly no sparkle at the first Christmas until the wise men turned up offering their gift of gold which incidentally was a long time after the event! However along with that that gift, the wise men also offered frankincense and myrrh which indicated the kind of live and death Jesus would have.
I believe Christmas is a special time to rejoice the coming of Jesus into the world, Emmanuel, God with us, and it’s that I hold on to along with whatever the season may bring. I remember at the age of 5 desperately wanting a Mr Frosty Machine, and being devastated that I didn’t get it on the day – clearly that memory still lingers strong! Older and hopefully a little less fixated on what’s under the tree, I’m aware disappointment is still a very real experience at Christmas for many, not least in this age of austerity when with pressures of creating a perfect Christmas lie all over the place especially through the media.
That’s why I’m grateful for the fact, that although I love the party, I hold on to the reason why we’re celebrating at all. Once the tinsel is packed away, and the sparkle disappears, I hold onto the fact that this baby born in a manger, born into poverty, grew to identify with us all whoever we are, and whatever we have and became a saviour, offering hope and love, light and life, and for that I am deeply thankful.
With much love this Christmas,
Revd Rebecca Gilbert