Christmas Message

Greetings in Jesus name,

To you Our Parish Family from the Churchwardens, Parish Councillors, Layministers, Readers, Sides people, Servers, Organists, musicians, singers, finance team, advisors, Parish Administrator, Verger, Helper, along with the Clergy and our families, we wish you and yours a newfound awareness of Christ, who was born to be human.

As I pondered on what I would write to you all, I remembered Christmas’s past. Christmas time was such a joyous time in our home, the food, the presents, the family and friends but more importantly our preparations for Midnight Mass. As a young girl I remember going to server’s practise, polishing the silver and brass ware, those were our duties and we loved it, the servers all got together, laughed and ragged each other but made sure the work got done. I always went hoping to be the cross-bearer and sometimes I was and sometimes I wasn’t, I was ok with that I just loved being in the house of the Lord.

Later as I myself had children I remembered the joy they felt waiting expectantly for Christmas, after midnight mass they were each allowed to open one present as we had cocoa, tea or coffee and cake, the rest would be opened after lunch with the whole family present. How times have changed, families have gotten small, presents are fewer and the lunch menu a lot simpler, in a way allowing us to experience the true meaning of Christmas. For many of us now, we remember those days with some sadness, as we think about our loved ones that have passed away, or family members and friends who no longer talk to each other and children who live abroad but with all this our hope is found in the Lord.

So, here we are, it’s Christmas Day, we remember Jesus’ birth, focusing all our attention on one small, hope-filled family. Mary who laboured and birthed the Saviour, Joseph who stood by as the earthly father and Jesus who came into the world screaming and crying. This is the story where God shows up to be Emmanuel, God with us.

The birth of Jesus is a reminder of the hope we have in God. The God of hope who keeps his promise to be present in the world, in us and in all of creation. Our hope in Christ is what keeps us going, He is the reason we continue to hold on, he is the reason we raise our children in our faith and He the reason we endure all the disappointments and struggles that life throws at us. This Christmas we, like Mary are invited to ponder on how God used ordinary, everyday people to help him save the lost and lonely. About how God revealed the good news of salvation to the lowliest people first and how God comes to us at our weakest and most vulnerable state and how God embraced us and the whole world, through the birth of divine love and hope in and through the Christ child.

It really is a blessing that is hard to comprehend, let alone believe and so as Christians we are obligated to be the hope of this hurting and hopeless world, where people are desperate for a little love and kindness. As Mary birth the Christ Child, I wonder, what are the seeds of hope that are being birth from us for ourselves, our church and what seeds of hope are we birthing for the people out there in this cold hard world, do the seeds of hope that we are birthing line up with the true meaning of the nativity story, this Christmas?

May the blessings of Jesus Christ be more than you can grasp this Christmas and may 2024 be a extraordinary year for you and your family, where the love of Christ shines radiantly in the days ahead, where people not only see His light in you but are drawn to Him who makes all things possible, through you.

From all the Servant Leaders of Church of the Good Shepherd and St Mary’s Kingsburgh.

Rev Deborah

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