Message from Revd Tim

It’s that time of year again – we find ourselves in the middle of winter. Dark when we get up and dark again by the middle of the afternoon. Spare a thought for those who live inside the Artic Circle who live in constant night at this time of the year.  But, Christmas is nearly with us and within our country and customs, Christmas wouldn’t work as well as a visual extravagance if we were celebrating Christmas in light and summer.

 Our thoughts turn to The Holy Land – of a couple, the woman in her last week of pregnancy making a slow journey by foot and probably donkey through hostile land to Bethlehem.  They are refugees, forced to travel on account of Augustus, The Roman Emperor holding a Census.  A great desire to count everyone has caused great upheaval as unlike modern census, when it is done in the comfort of your own home, you were forced to travel to the home, the origin of your family line.  For Joseph this meant travelling to Bethlehem as he was of the line and family of King David.  When they finally arrive, exhausted, hungry and for Mary in the early stages of labour, they are unable to find a room – no AirB’n’B, no Booking.com, rejected from door after door with a ‘sorry, no room’, or ‘sorry we are full’, they have nowhere to go until in compassion an enterprising inn keeper offers them use of an animal shed round the back of his premises.  Filthy, smelly draughty but somewhere dry, somewhere where they as refugees could get a bit of peace, safety and privacy in order that her child could be born.

God made flesh, God as one of us, just like you and me was born that night in that stable because God loves all of us, the whole of creation from the word go.  Yes we often or frequently say or do things that make God sad but God’s love knows no boundaries and he is always ready to forgive.  Without Bethlehem, without the stable then there would have been no need for The Cross and Good Friday, without the Cross there would have been no need for Christmas.  Jesus’ mission, out of love was destined for that Cross and for The Resurrection that followed on the first Easter Morn.

Make room in your hearts this Christmas for The Holy Family, for Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus.  In your prayers remember all refugees and those who have to flee for their own safety, for the homeless and those who face difficulties. 

Come and join us – you’ll receive a great welcome

A very merry Christmas to everyone and a happy, peaceful and blessed 2019