As we head towards Christmas, it’s great to celebrate and there’s no way Christians should be party-poopers. Yet we also want to point beyond the crackers and presents and food. We want to highlight the real reason to party especially when 5% of our fellow Britons (rising to 10% in the 25 to 35 age group) believe that Father Christmas makes an appearance in the biblical story of the nativity and over a third of the population thinks the Bible says that December 25th is Jesus’ birthday.
In an act of stupendous grace, generosity and love God acted to bring back men, women and children to know him and follow him. God launched the greatest rescue mission in the world in Jesus, his son. As Jesus came to live a human life amongst us, we see what living as God intended looks like, we also see the lengths God goes to in order to save us from the effects of our selfishness and pride as Jesus died on the cross. Forgiveness and new life are now freely offered to us.
Becoming and being a Christian, knowing life in all its fullness here and hereafter is the best thing anyone could have or receive this Christmas.
So let’s not be slow to offer the invitation to the real Christmas party which doesn’t end when the food and drink runs out. There are lots of occasions to invite folk to including the Town Nativity in the Market Place with three real camels at 6.00pm on Friday December 8th ( best to get there by 5.45pm for a good place), Carols by Candlelight December 17th at 6.30pm, Messy Nativity on Thursday 21st at 4.00 to 6.00pm, where families with younger children can come and do Christmas crafts, then an impromptu Nativity before enjoying a family tea together, and a 45-minute All Age Celebration on Christmas Morning at 10.30am. (see the full list of services elsewhere and look out for the Christmas leaflets to give to others).
Then in the New Year we’ll all do the Alpha Course together to get ourselves in shape for sharing the love of Jesus in word and deed in 2018.
Wishing you a very Happy Christmas filled with the peace and joy of Jesus