Christmas Letter To St Thomas Parishioners
When I gave my first sermon at Saint Thomas back in mid-August I remarked how wonderful it was that the Gospel reading for the day included the Nativity story from the book of Luke. We were celebrating Saint Mary the Virgin that Sunday and I related to everyone that, for me, the Lukan Nativity passage contains the most powerful words very written in any language. Every time I read or hear, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord”, I am filled with great hope, and profound emotions and memories of Christmas come flooding through. It has been said many times that we Christians are an Easter people and I hold that as true. The death and resurrection of Jesus define how we relate to a God that would die for us and give us the chance of new life. But I strongly believe Christians are also a Christmas people. We know that God loves us and that even in cold and dark times the miracle of God’s light is glowing among and around us. Do not be afraid, for God is bringing us good news of great joy.
Christians are a Christmas people as well because we know the dramatic and moving miracles of God often come through the unexpectedly small places and experiences of life. We believe the world’s Savior was born in a muddy barn to a young, unwed couple. We trust His cradle was a trough amongst the livestock. We have faith that this child would grow up in a backwater, rural town and learn the trade of carpentry. As Christians we know that in His ministry Jesus would preach a new covenant between humans and God and in so doing would change the world. As Christians we know that God works through the small things in life to create great and life changing moments. This to is the story of Christmas and we as Christians live it and relive it every year.
One of my favourite things to do on Christmas day is to go for a mid-morning walk around the neighborhood. I love to do it because I see other people walking about, perhaps wearing their new mittens or coats or boots, and there seems to be an unspoken but shared feeling of newness. Even though the fall leaves have long since gone and there is not one sign of spring in sight, there is on that day and in that morning the inescapable feeling of a fresh start. As I walk around the neighborhood Christmas morning I can sense the light in people’s step as they to feel the love and joy and peace of God coming through the small, unexpected places in their life. That is why when I walk past someone and we share a salutation the meaning of these special words ring so deep and true, “Merry Christmas”.
I sincerely hope that you have a very Merry Christmas and that you can make the Saint Thomas family a part of your Christmas celebrations again this year.
The Reverend Patrick Blaney