Stoke Ferry Methodist Chapel
The Methodist Newsletter for December
Dec 4th 11.00 Mr Don Gates
Dec 11th 11.00 Mr John Miles
Dec 18th 11.00 Mrs Sally Coleman
Dec 18th 6.30pm United Carol Service led by Revd Matt Finch
Dec 25th 11.00 Mrs Mary Hurst
In my family Christmas is such a mess and never looks like the glossy magazines. There is such a build up to the big day and actually we end up in some sort of trouble; be it last years carbon monoxide poisoning, the more mundane argument over dinner or the problems of choosing which Christmas TV to watch!
I think the trouble with Christmas is that we've tried to package it as this time of peace, goodwill, love for all and season of giving, all of which are wonderful but actually the reality of the world is different. Our difficulties come when we try to forget that there is still problems and heartache in our own lives and this earth is full of war, pain, hate and greed, all of which no matter how hard we celebrate can not be truly forgotten.
With the story of the first Christmas I find deep encouragement. In the birth of the baby Jesus was all that we celebrate at Christmas. The difference for me is that, unlike my family Christmases, it did not try to ignore the world. The Christmas story full of the problems that come with our messy world. Jesus was born into the middle of the world's difficulties, born without a home, born to a single mother, a refugee as he grew, into a land which was occupied by a dictatorship! The first Christmas is about the starting of God's plans for a hurting world.
At this Christmas time may you know that the message that comes wrapped up in this child. In the weakness of this child comes the challenge to the way this world works and a way to transform it; a way to love the unlovable, to bring peace to the distressed and wholeness to the broken. At this Christmas time may you find that in the baby Christ there is the ultimate illustration that God loves you and want to be with you.
Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year, Matt finch