Dear Friends,
On November 8th - 10th, I attended the Rural Dean's residential conference
at Market Bosworth in Leicestershire. As we arrived at the Hotel where the conference was held we were astounded to see Christmas Trees and decorations festooning the public rooms. Christmas had arrived!
I guess by now you will have seen plenty of advertisements on the television. The John Lewis one is eagerly awaited each year - they must spend a fortune on advertising companies. Other stores have jumped on the band wagon and are producing their own "Christmas spectaculars" by way of adverts.
They are very imaginative with foxes, badgers and dogs enjoying bouncing on a trampoline, or a Robin having to enduring extreme weather as it tries to find its way home, or Mrs. Claus delivering a last minute present.
But no where have I seen any mention of the real reason for this great celebration - after all we are reminded of it every time we write the word Christmas, for "Christ is the beginning of Christmas".
Even if it is shortened to "Xmas", the "X" is really the Greek letter "Chi" which is the beginning of the Greek word for Christ!
So we really can't get away from the fact that Christmas is - or should be - about Christ.
Christians have a role to play in reminding the world of that fact. And that is not to be negative about the other aspects of this festive season for it surely must be right to celebrate the most important event in human history - that God became human so that humanity might become more like God.
We have some posters which we can let you have for your house windows or car to remind folk of the "Christ " bit of Christmas - do ask for one!
Can I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas and a peaceful 2017
Ian R