Voice of the Church December 2020

“God rest you merry, gentlemen,

Let nothing you dismay.”

Christmas is going to be rather different this year, it seems.  As I write this, we have just entered our second lockdown, hoping that it will indeed end on 2 December and that we will have a little more of our freedom restored in time for the festive season.  But still, our celebrations will be different from last year.  So many of the things that we previously relied on to make us feel ‘Christmassy’ will be cancelled or altered.  In churches, we are making plans for the things that we CAN do together, but also trying to work out how the things that we can’t do can be managed in other ways.  And yet all those events that drew their power from being together en masse – the Carol Services, the Crib and Christingle services, the town festivities as the lights are switched on – they won’t be quite the same when they are scaled back or take place digitally in our own homes.

But maybe, just maybe, this year we are being given a rare and beautiful opportunity: a chance to strip away the hoopla and the frivolity and remember what Christmas is really about.  For Christmas is not, and never has been, about robins and snow and candles and trees and mulled wine and turkey, however much we may love those things.  What is left to us this year, however curtailed our celebrations may be, is the greatest Christmas gift of all.  We are left with tidings of comfort and joy, with the extraordinary news that, over 2000 years ago, God gave HIMSELF to us.  He came to live among us as a human being, in all the frailty and messiness of a human baby.  However we find ourselves living our lives over the next few weeks, that joyful, comforting message is one thing that will not change.

“Remember Christ our Saviour

Was born on Christmas Day,…

O tidings of comfort and joy!”

 

God bless,

 

Philippa

20201201-VOTC Dec 20 Jan 21