Thought for the Month (December 2012)

Dear Friends,

Before you throw away your copy of the November magazine, please read again Mary Nolze's Pastoral Letter. As I began to read it, I was jumping up and down for joy. (Try to imagine that!) So many churches have been stressed by the statements that Children are the Church of Tomorrow and that if we have no children, we are doomed to closure.

Nonsense! As Mary says, we enjoy children for what they can bring us NOW.

They have a huge contribution to make now and we are blessed and they should not and must not be ignored. Our young people are a very essential PART of our family. Having worked with Primary Aged children for a few years, I appreciate these wonderful creatures even though they can be messy and annoying. They have contributed so much to my life on earth and in the Kingdom because Jesus recognized their ability to give love, happiness and spontaneity. But they are not the only ones. We have parents and grandparents, aunties and uncles and everyone in between in our church family.

In the same vein, we hear often "Christmas is for children." Nonsense! Christmas is definitely for everyone. Maybe people say this because youngsters obviously show their joy in the festivities.

I really enjoy Christmas too. I love the tinsel and the Christmas tree, the lovely meal and the roaring log fire.

I've got a number of books that I used with the children, of songs, poems and readings about Christmas. I've been looking at their contents pages. All very jolly and fanciful too. Rarely a mention of Jesus Christ being born. Christmas is so HUGE.

See what the writer to the Hebrews says at the beginning of his letter:
"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets and many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful words.!" Hebrews 1 v 1-3. This isn't tinsel and tissue paper but powerful stuff, needing to be considered, thought about, prayed about.

We know the wonderful stories in the Gospels. We can all appreciate the drama of the stable, star and the journeying. We need to enjoy the glitter and the jollity, but not all the time. There's a time to consider the Holy Son of God being born on earth.

And while we're doing it, to count our blessings. Perhaps consider again what we are spending on ourselves when there is so much real need in God's world. Instead of a packet of crackers, a donation to a charity would celebrate Christmas a little more meaningfully.

Our church leaders put a lot into helping us to understand the whys and wherefores of God sending his Son. Could we make our contribution in reading, praying, meditating and praising God together?

Joy to the world, the Lord has come.

Audrey Mitchell

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Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church