Friday, 23 December 2016


I always regard the Christmas season as a time for reflection. What does it really mean that God came to this earth? How can we communicate that message effectively? Like many, I tend to think back over Christmases past. The picture of a banner actually goes back 32 years to Christmas 1984. I was then ministering in London. It was my second Christmas in London and, at one of the two churches of which I was then minister, Islington-Claremont, (just recently, as it happens, having joined with the other (Harecourt) to form the united Islington United Reformed Church), we had made a banner to mark the season - with that great name, 'Emmanuel' - God is with us!

If we are going to reflect, part of that ought to be looking forward. What is God calling us to do and be today? What should Christmas say to a secular world?

As I was shopping in Cambridge earlier this month, I saw folk from the Methodist Church handing out free mince pies, and I have heard of similar in other places. It may seem just a small gesture, but in such ways we offer the hospitality to which God calls us.

If God is with us, and God is, what does that mean for how we conduct ourselves?

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