Christmas Message from Father Neil
Credit crunch, financial uncertainty, tax cuts, tax rises, recession,
unemployment… These are words which have become so commonplace in
recent months. I can’t help being reminded of the hype and frenzy as
the year 2000 approached. Planes were allegedly going to stop flying,
computers would give up the ghost and so on. And, surprise surprise,
Jan 1st came and the world carried on!
Living in difficult times is nothing new. Read the story of the Birth
of Jesus. Mary and Joseph had no money to splash out on a fancy hotel
room. The gifts brought to Jesus were special but didn’t cost an arm
and a leg in John Lewis or Debenham's. If this current financial
situation is as a result of our greed, as many claim, then perhaps the
question to ask is not ‘what problems will we face?’ but ‘what lessons
can we learn?’
Those who seek to keep hold of the true message of Christmas know that
it is about Love. It is the love of God made visible in the person of
Jesus Christ. We sing “with the poor and mean and lowly lived on earth
our Saviour holy”. Perhaps if we are experiencing some feelings of
poverty, hardship and depression this Christmas then we can be certain
that we are exactly the kind of people Jesus came to live among.
Those who are able to ‘carry on spending’ will be those for whom the
true message of Christmas hasn’t got through.
Perhaps we need to look at the way Christians are being persecuted in
other parts of the world to realise that the Christian faith is
something worth fighting for and standing up to defend. Christmas is
not about wrapping paper, presents and spending more than the next door
neighbour. It is about opening our hearts to the message of the angels:
peace on earth and goodwill to all.
A warm welcome awaits you at both of our churches this Christmas. Come
and share with us in the true message and meaning of Christmas. As the
following verse reminds us, the true gift any of us can give this
Christmas costs nothing at all!
What can I give Him, poor as I
If I were a shepherd, I would
bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would
do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him:
give my heart.
Follow this link for details of
services over Christmastide at St Faith's and St Mary's
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