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Letters from Tim

Dear Friends,

As approach this strange Christmas, there is a lot which seems to be up in the air, provisional and uncertain. The plans we are making have to be tentative in case anyone becomes ill. We have to interpret the guidance rules so that we can be as safe as possible and try to reduce the risk of spreading, or catching the virus. Perhaps the tensions we are all living under are just exaggerated in the run up to Christmas, because we invest so much in our relationships and to express our belonging with those close to us. When this is all under threat we get more anxious.

That anxiety and tension is at the heart of the Christmas story. Mary’s experience of unmarried pregnancy will have given her, and Joseph, and their families sleepless nights. The government announcing the need to travel to the city of your birth to be registered would mean leaving work for a few days in order to travel, so no money would be coming in.

For Joseph and Mary, the stress of getting to Bethlehem, not finding anywhere to stay, with the birth imminent, was hardly relaxing. The birth itself, with all the risks involved. The unstable political situation with a paranoid king who exerted infanticide as a blunt and cruel weapon to protect himself. The forced choice of becoming refugees and fleeing into a foreign land for the Holy family, would not have been what they hoped and planned for. Living in a foreign land for years before it was safe to return, separated from the support of family and friends was not an ideal way to bring up a new-born.

So our uncertain experience of Christmas this year echoes much of the first one.   Perhaps the faith and trust exhibited by Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, the Wise men and so on are examples of how to manage the unexpected and be willing to go with the flow. Flexibility and a willingness to do things differently, are often marks of God’s way. To step out from the norm and see how God works in a totally new way seems to fit with how Jesus comes to us as a baby and grown man, and today in our lives.

So however, you celebrate Christmas, on your own, with a few others, at home or somewhere else, I hope you manage to be struck by the amazing reality of God being with us, alongside us and ahead of us. A gift of life for all, an open invitation to join in with his mysterious ways which are ever new.

Peace

 

Tim

 

A few bits of church news.

 

The leadership team have been busy distributing Christmas Goody bags to those who are elderly and on their own. There has been much appreciation expressed.  Thank you to all involved.

Christmas Cards from the church have been given to the shops in Ecclesall Road.

We will be having a service on Christmas Day but it will begin at 9.30am.  This will enable Tim to then go up the road to Bents Green.  We did look at joining together again, but felt that it might push the numbers over the limit.

A thank you to Mandy working away in the background as usual, and also to Phill Brown who has arranged electrical work in recent weeks around the property. Again important yet unseen work.


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Page last updated: 15th December 2020 3:48 PM