From the Rector - December 2017

Christmas NativityDear Friends,

During December, we journey through Advent, which, for Christians is a time of reflecition, prayer and preparation. We then come to the heart of what we are anticipating, the heart of the hopeful story.

‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light’, Isaiah promises. What brought on the light in darkness? The answer comes in those immortal words: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; And the government (the authority) will be upon his shoulder’.

What startling and wondrous images these are! First, we are given the image of the deep darkness of ignorance; then we are given the image of the great light of an announcement. St Luke permeates his story with light. ‘The glory of the Lord shone round about them’, he says and surely the only way we can picture glory is through light. ‘And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest’. Is there a more beautiful picture painted in so few words?

Imagine being one of the shepherds, trembling with fear; this fear is the awe we feel in the presence of something that is beyond our senses and our capacity for understanding. This awe should fill us in our Advent preparation and throughout our celebrations. For what happened in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago was then and remains now beyond our understanding. ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and his name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’.

A child, a little baby? Who can explain the Incarnation of God? Enter into this realm of awe; you are in great company. You are in the company of the angels, of all the saints and of the souls who have gone before us. We welcome the awe with the humility of poor shepherds being confronted with glory. We hear the great announcement and ask for grace to believe. We fall on our knees with gratitude.

Let us together go and look for the child Jesus, God become man and worship him!

We look forward to welcoming you to our worship over the upcoming festive period.