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Minister's message


WINTER 2018

 

There is something magical about a winter Christmas- something extraordinary for me and my wife, coming from the Southern Hemisphere. We romantically remember from our family’s 2010 UK Christmas visit walking out of a Hampstead coffee shop to falling snow and choristers across the street melodiously singing out familiar Christmas Carols. Wonderfully magical! 

And yet, at the very heart of Christmas is the magical! In the Northern Hemisphere, yes, it becomes in a way a winter birth and, philosophically, perhaps it is in this sense the more magical in that winter is not generally regarded or experienced as a season of new births (except for new parents). The celebrated birth at the heart of Christmas, the birth of the teacher, prophet, martyr, Jesus the Christ, is all about the magical birth of the new.

One early Christian tradition captures the magical in what we refer to as ‘the virgin birth’. This tradition even tops that of Sarah (and Abraham) of the Old Testament who God enables to conceive beyond normal child-bearing age- in the case of Jesus’ birth, Mary conceives without need of man, but with God. This (perhaps) captures the hidden, magical nugget of truth that when God works with our human cooperation, new birth, new beginnings are possible- wasn’t it after-all Jesus himself who once said, ‘with God all things are possible’?  

So indeed, Christmas is essentially and thoroughly magical. Reminding us, that with God around, our human experience is fertile ground for new birth, new hope, and a new future. Whatever your BREXIT perspectives, for example! Recall for a moment the fall of the heinous Berlin Wall.

Christmas is a timely reminder of the biblical truth that God is ‘forever making all things new’ and is only in need of us as human beings to be the bearers of God’s new life. Like Mary was.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Christmas of new births.


Gary



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