Christmas 2016

May the Joy of Christmas be with you all, whatever your situation! And, may the Christ child find a place to rest at the centre of your heart and celebrations!

I want to make it clear that this is what Christmas is all about… it is, in fact Christ’s Mass! I am happy to abide by the rules of political correctness in most areas… I sincerely believe that every person has the right to be called by whatever title he or she chooses, and I believe that, as Christians we should strive to treat every person with respect, regardless of race, creed, age, gender or sexual orientation. This is living according to Christ’s law of love.

BUT…I refuse to call Christmas the “holiday/festive season”, or to send “holiday” greetings and “festive” gifts. I make no apology for my belief, or my stance on the matter. No one knows the exact date of the birth of Christ though there have been many attempts at calculation, according to the evidence at hand. However, for the last 2000 years (approximately… give or take a decade) Christians of most denominations have celebrated the birth of Christ on the 25th of December.
If you are into the Internet simply type the words “the date of Christmas” into your “search engine”, press “ENTER” and you will find a plethora of articles on the subject.

One helpful site/article I found is www.ancient-future.net/christmasdate.html but there are plenty of others.

Regardless of how or why the date was selected, it has been accepted for a couple of thousand years… and for me the date is not nearly as important as the event we commemorate and celebrate.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

So … JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD IS COME!!

Advent 4B – 18 December 2016

Considering the content of our current Advent Bible Study I remembered this poem (by Cheryl Lawrie) which seems to me, to encapsulate something of the mystery of the season of Advent when we are constantly preparing – preparing for Christmas, preparing to remember the birth of Christ, preparing a place for Christ within our hearts, preparing for his coming again … preparing and “waiting for what?”

Pregnant pause
Perhaps our mistake is thinking
that love will always come
in the shape we have known it:

a happy ending
a new beginning
a christ-child.

In this pregnant pause
while the earth holds its breath
waiting for what
it does not know,
let us have the faith
that even we,
with all our wise
and cynical
knowing,
would not imagine
the shape that love
will take

and instead just
have the faith
that it will come.

Second Sunday of Advent – 4 December 2016

This week I have spent time creating an angel, a messenger of God, and as created I have contemplated the presence of such messengers in my own life – for, though we may not be accosted by angels on high surely, if we listen deeply, we hear messages of hope, peace, joy and love.

From Words for Worship –
Unlikely characters are found throughout the advent narrative, none are more unlikely than John the Baptist, the locust-eating desert-dweller. He comes across a bit like the recently departed Mohammed Ali – brazen, brutally honest and with the bravado to call out hypocrisy when he sees it. John declares that the kingdom of heaven is coming near. For whom is it coming? Not for those whom you might expect – religious leaders for instance. Today’s readings highlight the idea that Jesus comes for the unlikely, those unsung by society – the poor and needy, the meek, the Gentiles – and he comes for the most unlikely of reasons – that righteousness might flourish and that all creation might live in peace. In what unlikely ways does Christ come to us this Advent?

Who are the messengers of God around us? The unlikely reign of God is proclaimed, on earth, by those who faithfully believe and give of themselves with generous and glad hearts.