A Reflection From Ryhall Church 

Hard Times and the Christmas Gift 

As I write this message, it is November and difficulties are everywhere we turn. The COP 27 climate summit is in motion; there are broadcasts about strike action against the background of austerity and an illegal war grinds on in Europe. Dickens would have surely had material for another book. 

So what of Christmas and why do many people mark it? We’ll all have asso-ciations, memories and traditions connected to this time of year. Perhaps it’s the giving and receiving of presents, the endless white noise of the 

Christmas anthems played, or listening to the Queen’s speech ( now pased on to King Charles the 3rd), or even taking time away from the school time-table and work duties for a duvet day? Christmas time is often the opportunity to make merry amidst the darkness of winter and the heartache around the globe. 

And yet what else? Christmas time offers us all the change to reflect, reconsider and reconnect. We can wonder anew at why the Christ child was born in poverty, and is still revered by many? We can reconsider why His birth was foretold and honoured by the visit of three wise men. We can reflect about why the Lord announced the birth of His son, to the then, most lowly of people, tending sheep, not via Facebook, but with a celestial choir; an exultation of heavenly angels? 

The reality of Jesus’ birth over 2000 years ago, continues to resonate today. Something significant happened in that stable; when God came to live amongst us in human form. Jesus continues to be a sign from God that He loves us; wants to offer us a relationship with Him and importantly, that He has not abandoned the world. 

There will be many Christians, families, churches and communities who will be celebrating God’s present of Jesus and what he represents throughout the season of Advent, and especially on Christmas Day. If you are curious; want to reflect further; reconsider who Jesus is and reconnect with others on their own journeys of faith, the three churches in the benefice will be holding a number of services and events where your presence would be most welcome. 

May I wish you a very, very Happy Christmas! 

Paula Wilkinson