From The Manse

Dear Friends,

For many people, December is one of the busiest months of the year. Expectations run high with the hope that this year, the seasonal celebration will be the best ever! Sometimes the hope is fulfilled and sometimes it gives way to disappointment. Isn’t it a pity that so much of the expectation is focussed on what wewill do and what wecan give when in fact Christmas is about what Godhas done and what Godhas already given.

I would like to think that this year we can roll back our expectation measure and take a fresh look at Christmas and Advent that leads us to it.

The truth at the heart of Christmas is that over 2,000 years ago God entered our common place World and that he came to us in the person of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who is the ‘image of the unseen God’ (Colossians 1:15).

This is not only the heart of the Christmas message; it is what lies at the heart of our faith. We have a God who is not far off, who does not watch us from a distance but is ever present with us and who can transform our lives in such a way that no matter what we experience, we will know that he is there and that his strength will help us, come what may.

Immanuel, God with us, might not be what our secular society wants. It would prefer the trimmings of Christmas, presents, trees with bright lights and parties and while there is much to be said for such things, when Christmas is passed for another year, these things pass too. However, the real meaning of Christmas remains and it is what our secular society needs, even if it doesn’t know it!

Christmas reminds us of a truth so profound and awesome that many are afraid to unwrap it and explore it. God came to us in Jesus, born and raised among simple, common folk and he went on to know the strain of poverty, the pain of rejection, the anguish of death’s separation. And throughout it all he proclaimed one message loud and clear, God is love and God loves you. This Christmas, let us prepare our hearts and homes to welcome the Christ child, and let us celebrate the eternal truth that the one whose birth was announced to humble Shepherds on a hillside overlooking Bethlehem is with us always. This is good news for us all!

I send you my warmest wishes for a joyful Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Your Friend and Minister,

Gary J McIntyre