Vicar's Letter

 

VERSE OF 2018:

 

 “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city”

Jeremiah 29:7 (New International Version)

 

Dear Friends,

 

We are very aware of how special the arrival of a new baby is to any family!  Ours was blessed with the ‘advent’ of little Ernie (well, not that little actually!) in July, and there’s nothing like it.

 

This Christmas we celebrate again God’s gift of Jesus, the most special baby of all time.  Christians know in our hearts the true feeling that burst from the lips of St Paul as he thought about the difference Jesus makes:  ‘Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!’ (2 Corinthians 9:15). What can we say about this baby? How can we sum up his significance, especially for the benefit of those who don’t currently know and love him?

 

He is God Himself

 

The unthinkable has happened: God has become a human being! The eternal, creator God enters the world of time and space, both fully human and fully divine. This divine baby is the key to the age-old question of how our tiny, finite little selves can know God and know what God is like: ‘No one has ever seen God, but the only Son, who is closest to the Father, has made him known.’  He can bring hope to our messy world, because He has fully become part of it. 

 

As Mike Lloyd says, thanks to the birth of Christ, human DNA is now part of the make-up of the Holy Trinity, and this encourages us to believe that God could never truly abandon the human race, no matter what.  He doesn’t stand apart, but demonstrates a commitment to be with us and on our side in the midst of sin and suffering – whether that’s at his baptism in the River Jordan, or at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11) – or on the Cross.

 

He is human like us

 

Jesus fully engaged with the jungle of human experience. By His cross and resurrection, He can release us from the power of wrong, hurt and shame to secure for us a life of love, peace and forgiveness.  Remember, the crib and cross are made of the same wood!

 

He is one with us

 

In the coming of Jesus, God doesn’t draw us simply into a cosmic event, but into a relationship. Just as I can hold and hug a new baby, so we have a God who wants to be intimately involved in our lives. As Emmanuel, ‘God is with us’ (Matt 1:23). Therefore, the question is:

 

Are we with Him?

 

Are we ready to make space for Him at the centre of our Christmas Celebrations this year?

 

Finally something to reflect upon:

 

‘At Christmas time, when we receive presents we don’t really need, God offers us a gift we cannot do without.’ (J John).

 

Have a wonderful Christmas – and please do your best to share it with those who love you, with those who have few worldly goods (or few people) to celebrate with, and with those who don’t yet know the Christ Child and what he has done for them.

 

 

Yours truly,

Julian