River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Stoke Ferry Methodist Chapel

December 2006

Matt also reminds us of the real Christmas story and rails against the ever increasing commercialism.

Revd Matt Finch 01366 387602 mattfinch@pleko.co.uk

3rd Dec 11.00

10th Dec 11.00

17th Dec 11.00

24th Dec 11.00

31st Dec 11.00

That's it! I admit it! I hate Christmas. I know it sounds funny as an ordained Methodist minister but I am sick of it. I hate the pressure to be all happy for this time of the year as if as the Christmas tree has some magical power to get rid of life's difficulties. I hate the pressure to spend money that we don't have to buy things that our loved ones don't really need. I hate the pressure on our family to be perfect when actually we all have tensions and frustrations that can't be put to one side for this time of the year. What I hate more than anything is the pressure to redecorate my house or buy a new sofa so that all these extra visitors can trample their dirty winter boots all over them!

Please forgive me for my outburst, I do like Christmas and I know that there are plenty of lovely things about this season. But the thing I dislike is that Christmas has become a little hollow and lost its deep meaning. It worries me that this festival, which stands for such great hope and goodwill, has become the time of the year when more people commit suicide, when more families break up and when debt increases. I am not saying that these things should not happen; they are a fact of life. I am saying that at this time of year more than ever is the time to be honest about who we are. The Christmas story tells us that in a dirty stable, round the back of a pub, completely unnoticed a glimmer of hope came to all those people for whom the world was a difficult place. In this tiny baby, God became vulnerable for the downtrodden and weary of this life. This story is of eternal significance and is for us today. At this Christmastime may you know the hope and freedom that this festival celebrates. My you know that in whatever your life situation may bring, the child born in a stable is born that you might know God loves you and world he created.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a new year full of blessings,

Matt Finch

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