Dear friends and colleagues,
Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Saviour Jesus Christ, whose birth we prepare to celebrate and herald!
In just a few short days the aisles of our churches will have again been fully transformed into the road to Bethlehem; our chancels into stables and our altars into mangers. And we ourselves, God willing, will also have been changed – if only for a few brief moments – into reverent shepherds and gift bearing magi. Advent will have again done its job and all will be rightly and fittingly prepared for this special celebration of the birth of our Saviour.
The rituals of advent and Christmas – like all rituals – can help us to see with new eyes. They bring us within touching distance of a spiritual dimension of which we are often quite unaware. They can draw us toward a renewed encounter with the one whose birth we celebrate. And isn’t that the point of the whole Christmas exercise?
For if the babe does not again take flesh in us today, the Bethlehem star is but an optical illusion leading to nothing. If we are not empowered to offer a gift to the one in need, then there are no wise men searching. If there is no praise or joy within our hearts, then there are no angels singing; no shepherds watching.
The Christmas season bids us enter more deeply into of the story of the message of grace, love and forgiveness that has been revealed to us in Christ Jesus! Don’t let the opportunity pass! May the blessing of the coming Christ-child rest abundantly upon you, and those who are dear to you. May Christ be born anew within each one of us!
With prayers and all best wishes,