Welcome to St John the Baptist Church in Smalley, Derbyshire.
Several times over the last few months I‟ve heard and read the words that Christmas is cancelled this year. These words demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of what Christmas is about. It is sad that there will be no big parties and no great family gatherings this year but though these are joyous occasions they are not what Christmas is about in themselves.
They are celebrations of Christmas, the Feast of Christ, the day on which we celebrate the coming of Jesus the Christ into this world. It is true that we don‟t know the actual date of his birth but it was a wise decision to celebrate it at the time of year when the darkness begins to turn to light. A reminder to us that the coming of Christ was to bring the light of God‟s love into this world. A reminder that the God of all being, of all creation, of this universe and possibly others chose, for our sake to become a new born human being with all the indignity and vulnerability that this implies.So even at this time of Covid 19 we must celebrate as much as is possible even though this may be in a diminished way.
If we can‟t manage new decorations we can recycle old ones or even make some out of whatever greenery we can find. We could even make a fun game out of doing so. Perhaps we may not be able to have that great Christmas dinner but we can hopefully manage a few foodie treats. If we can‟t afford to give presents like we usually do perhaps we can make them –a spot of homemade fudge or some homemade biscuits can be a real treat. Remember a few years ago the Duchess of Cambridge‟s gift to the Queen was a pot of homemade chutney which was, from all accounts, very well received. Children can still receive presents –perhaps it will be good to receive only one to two rather than sackfulls; when most of my generation were young we were given one big present and then a few stocking fillers and we enjoyed ourselves as much as children today, it‟s all in the expectations and these can be managed. How about trying a few board games with the children, these really can be great fun –and for adults too!
There will sadly be many alone at Christmas this year. Those of us who will be must rely on Facetime, Skype, Zoom or other media to see our loved ones and for those who will be in company of households or bubbles remember to contact those you know will be alone –it may make their Christmas. At a time when we will have a quieter, more minimal Christmas perhaps our greatest joy may be in remembering others and helping them –we will probably have time to do this this year.
I leave you with the words of an old and not much used carol as I think at this time and for this year they have real meaning and relevance for us all.
God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay.
Remember Christ our Saviour
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r
When we were gone astray;
Oh tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
Oh tidings of comfort and joy.
As a church we take safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults very seriously. If you have any concerns or queries, however small, please contact our vicar or safeguarding lead. Rev. Kate Plant 01332 834928/ email@example.com or Carol Davidson 07747 871560/ firstname.lastname@example.org