Vicar/Reader's Monthly Message
Although, this is the December, and thus the Christmas edition, I’m writing this in the middle of November during the month’s lockdown. I’ve just heard today that universities are closing in early December.
By the time you read this we will already know or be about to know the restrictions which will take us over Christmas. Will we be able to worship together as Boris thought or not? Will we be able to see our families or not?
Will Christmas be like those who have just celebrated Diwali, a Festival of Lights from one of their ancient stories of good triumphing over evil and which hopes for joy in the coming year, and instead of it being a mass family celebration, it happened behind closed doors and speaking to family on zoom?
If we are in church to celebrate Jesus the ultimate light of the world we will be lucky but it will be different. It won’t be the grand occasions with lots of people and singing carols that Christmas usually is. It will be quieter, socially distanced, listening and having to sing in our hearts.
If we can meet in church, we are working on the best we can give under the circumstances. It leaves us, in the words of Robin Gamble
‘Beautiful music and atmospheric candles.
Sacred buildings and mysterious spaces.
Silence, waiting and expectancy.
It leaves us still with a story to tell of how the Son of God came, of how the angels sang and of how the ordinary people saw the light’.
Jesus is still the light that shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put His light out and never will.
If lockdown does continue and Christmas is more quiet, more still than it has ever been, then we can all sing in the comfort of our own homes, join in with online services and put on the CDs and playlists.
We too as Christians, along with the other religions, look forward in hope but we will also hear the promise, once again, this Advent of the return of Christ, when darkness will be no more.
May God’s peace, comfort and joy be with you this Christmas, not as the world gives it.