From a church family perspective, the leadership team is planning for Christmas celebrations, now that we know the contractors are due to hand back the building at the end of November. I am looking forward to seeing people in person after months when we have been restricted to meeting each other on Zoom. Celebrations will need to take account of the Covid-19 restrictions that are in place over the Christmas period but we are working on the assumption that churches will be able to open again once the four weeks’ lockdown has ended.
It is my hope that we will find a way to come together at Christmas to give thanks to God for the most precious gift of all, his Son Jesus Christ.
The opening verses of John’s gospel are often read at carol services and contain words that seem particularly significant this year after the difficulties of 2020: “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”
John begins his gospel “In the beginning”, a phrase reminiscent of the opening of Genesis which describes how God created the world. On the first day of creation God said, ‘Let there be light’ and saw that the light was good. John reflects in his opening chapter on the actions of God in sending Jesus, when again light shines. Later John records the words of Jesus who said, “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8: 12)
Much may be different about this Christmas but we are invited to receive again the light of the world, the precious gift of Jesus, God’s son. However dark the days ahead may seem, Jesus is with us and brings his light and life, joy and peace into our lives if we will receive them.
May God bless you and surround you with his love, his light and his life this Christmas time and in the months to come.