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Church News Volume 6, Issue 12 (Dec 2005 / Jan 2006)

Dear friends,

We say that Christmas is a time for children and that certainly is true. Just look at their delight at this time of the year with the expectation of the joys that Christmas will bring. It is anticipation founded on two things, firstly the hope that will get some lovely presents, and secondly the certainty that, come Christmas morning, they will get presents. There are many children around the world who will get something special too on Christmas morning because of the generosity of many of you through Samaritan's Purse organisation for the Love in a Shoebox appeal. As a Benefice we sent almost 100 boxes, and I know many of you sent them via other organisations, work, school, etc.

How fortunate that we adults can come under the heading of children too - for that is what we are in God's eyes - His children! So let us never become so jaded, so "sophisticated" that we think we cannot enter into the child-like view of Christmas hope and certainty just as our children can.

For a start we can enter into the joy of the anticipation of Christmas. Not just with all the shopping and other material preparations. But the expectation of the Christmas message, a baby, the Saviour, is to be born for us, the angels will sing peace on earth and goodwill to all people. We can sing and laugh and dance as we listen to and retell the great Christmas story over and over again.

Like the children, our anticipation today can be based and built upon hope and certainty.

Here in mid-winter, we can reflect on the fact that the shortest day and the longest night will soon be past and gradually the new life of Spring will start to emerge, with the certainty of Summer as the great wheel of the seasons turn. And in the New Year, our hopes will be in our minds; the year to come will bring us, as in each and every year, our pleasures, our disappointments, our surprises and our memories. We know all this, but like the children, our hopes are ever fresh. Without our hopes, how dull our lives would be!

What are your hopes for 2006? Peace and security for ourselves, for our community, our nation, for all the world? Strengthening of a relationship and family ties? To make more out of your life journey, to take opportunities which present themselves rather than passing them by? To find an inner peace, meaning for your soul, the peace which comes from God and passes all understanding maybe? To be better people, more loving and kind especially to those who love us and who we often take for granted?

The children's certainty comes from the trust they have in their parents and their generosity. Our certainty must come from the trust we have in our heavenly Father. We may not receive our material desires, we may not see our hopes flower, but one thing we know with absolute certainty - we have God's strength and support, His love and His peace. These are His gifts, His free and unsolicited presents; all we have to do is to accept them and make them our own.

Above all we have the most precious gift of all gifts, children and adults alike. A child is born for us, a son is given to us. His name is called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The gift of God to the world, is the gift of Himself. The Creator of all has become like us so that we too might share in His life.

Can you think of a better gift to receive than the gift of eternal life?

But that is what you have been given - the voucher still to be redeemed by you - the gift is waiting.

We shall be celebrating the gift of life at a church near you this Christmas time. Don't miss out on the festivities, come and join us - you will enjoy singing the carols, meeting friends and villagers, hearing the story once again - and of course, meeting the Vicar!!

What ever you do this Christmas and New Year I hope you have a very happy one. Hope for the future with the certainty that God will continue to love us and keep us in His care.

God Bless you.

Rev'd Ian M. Finn

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011