Moderator’s Christmas Message

Isaiah 9.6Dear Friends,

At the moment preparations are being made for the Christmas Season in our churches and out in the world. As well as giving and receiving presents, one of the things that the children look forward to most are Christmas parties (so they tell me anyway). Christmas parties are very much a part of the tradition about Christmas and not only for the children as you will know, but why do we follow these customs? Where do they come from? Let me tell you about a few.

1. Did you know that the first Christmas card was sent in the year 1842? Nowadays millions of cards are sent all over the world with messages of goodwill. They have ‘Doves of Peace ‘ and ‘Nativity Scenes on them and of course the non religious pictures of Snowmen and Reindeers.

2. Mince Pies are a favourite of Christmas. Did you know that the first mince pies were made in the shape of a manger? The reason for the sprig of Holly on the top of the Christmas pudding is that the prickly leaves are like the thorns that Jesus was forced to wear on Good Friday. The red berries remind us of the drops of blood that came when the thorns pierced His flesh.

3. Then there is the Christmas carol. The origin of carols goes back hundreds of years. Alongside more sophisticated music there grew up a tradition of popular songs suitable for celebrating the birth of Jesus. We sing many of the traditional carols year upon year and I am sure we all have our favourites. My particular favourite is ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ and I never get tired of singing it or many of the others.

Alongside the traditional carols, songwriters have written many Christmas songs over the years. The singer/songwriter, Ian White has penned many and one of these I would like to share with you. It is supposed to be a children’s song but there is a meaning in it for us all I’m sure. It is called  ‘Somebody’s Birthday’

Crackers and turkeys and pudding and cream,
Toys in the window that I’ve never seen,
This is the Christmas that everyone sees,
But Christmas means more to me

It’s somebody’s birthday I won’t forget,
As I open the things that I get,

I’ll remember the inn and the stable so bare,
And Jesus who once lay there

Everyone’s out shopping late every night,
For candles and presents and Christmas tree lights,
This is the Christmas that everyone sees,
But Christmas means more to me.

It’s somebody’s birthday I won’t forget…

In the build up to Christmas and because of the rush, no matter who we are, we can find it hard sometimes to stop and think what Christmas means to us. We know that ‘Jesus is the reason for this season’ and we hear that often……. But what does Christmas mean to you?

A CHRISTMAS PRAYER
Eternal God you gave your son Jesus Christ to be the Light if the World, as we prepare to celebrate his birth – may we begin to see the world in the light of the understanding you give us. As you chose the lowly, the outcasts and the poor to receive the greatest news the world had ever known, so may we worship you in meekness of heart.

May we also remember our brothers and sisters less fortunate than ourselves in this season of giving.
Lord we give thanks for the gift of your love, may we be shining examples of that love to others.

AMEN

May Joy and Peace be yours at Christmas and may 2015 be a Good and Fulfilling Year for you and those whom you Love.

Jean Hunter BD
Moderator of the Presbytery of Ardrossan

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