Pastor’s Thoughts – December 2013

Dear friends,

Nativity 2013

As Advent and then Christmas swing around again it is tempting to try and think about new ways of celebrating the season. Whilst we want to make new challenges we don’t want to lose the traditional elements that make Christmas so familiar and loved. After all the story never changes and at its heart is the proclamation of the angels to the shepherds in the fields outside Bethlehem:

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12)

“A Saviour has been born to you” is a timeless message. We live in an age where people have
stopped believing in saviours. 50 years ago John F Kennedy was assassinated and a lot of people’s hope in politicians died with him. It’s nearly 50 years since the Rolling Stones sang about finding no satisfaction and 35 years since the Stranglers sang about not having any heroes anymore. Things have not become any more optimistic since then.

I don’t need to tell you about our society and what we see all around us. People need a saviour and many will reach for any substitute that they can find. Other things may provide escape or diversion or give some sense of it being worth living but there is only one Saviour. There is only one Saviour that can deal with the injustice of life; only one Saviour that can deal with our need to belong; only one Saviour that can deal with our need for identity; only one Saviour that can deal with our need for meaning and purpose. There’s only one Saviour that can offer us eternal life. There is no greater message that we can bring to people this year than to say to them: “A Saviour has been born to you”.

So let’s get stuck in to Christmas. I know that you are already busy but there are opportunities here that we can’t afford to miss. Invitations are available to hand out to friends and let them know what’s going on. There are plenty of things to invite them to and plenty of other things not advertised there that we need help with. For example we are running carol services for Brownies and Guides and for Grove Cottage and we will need people to welcome them and provide refreshments.

Most of all we need you to be praying. Why not pick a day in Advent to fast and pray about all of our activities? Here’s a list of everything that’s going on:

Puppets Galore in schools throughout the month

Mon 2 Community Lunch
Tues 3 Brownies and Guides Carol Service
Wed 4 Toddlers Drop-in Nativity
Sun 8 International Christmas Service
Tues 10 and Thurs 12 Toddlers & Co Nativity
Fri 13 Beer and Carols
Sun 15 Grove Cottage Carol Service
Wed 16 BWL Christmas lunch
Sun 22 AM Young People’s Celebration and PM
Carol Service

Have a great Christmas and a blessed New Year

John