The Christmas story of the birth of Jesus is known to many; people who hold no religious belief, people across different faiths, people with a deep spirituality rooted in the land and people, and people of the Christian faith. The gospel of Luke speaks of the angel Gabriel visiting Mary to tell her she would have a son and name him Jesus. Joseph and Mary travelled for Mary to give birth; a birth that brought great joy. Every year the presence of God, however we understand God, seeks us out through the retelling of this story. A story that is familiar in a very unfamiliar year.This year, life stories include people living in the darkness of illness, fear, domestic violence, immense grief, emotional, mental, and spiritual anguish, loss of income and sense of purpose; and stories of individuals and communities connecting with people so they feel seen and heard in their struggle. ‘Sacred space’ has been held, the respect of being there for others so they might reconnect to themselves, to the community, to God, or a sense of Mystery. Space held with tenderness, allowing the light to come in.
This year our world has seen much suffering and yet, new life continues to emerge. The wonder of birth is only fully realised as we reach out and respond in love. Know that loving fully is an act of hope in what lies between us; our possibility to transform each other and be transformed. Not optimistic wishing, rather hope. The hope, found as God becomes fully present, once more. May the peace and love of God be with you and the ones you love, this Christmas.
Rev Clare Brockett
Director of Mission