Christmas letter from us all at Trinity
What a year.
With Christmas coming up we’re wanting to write to everyone who belongs to the life of Trinity Churches. These last nine months have seen some big changes for many of us, and some profound difficulties to live with. Thank you to all those who have put faith into action with words and deeds in so many different ways. And I’m sorry where we haven’t supported and encouraged people as well as we might have done.
I don’t know about you, but especially at Christmas I’m really missing the many opportunities to see different people from across Holy Trinity, Christ the King and the Meole Estate. To be together in services, or bump into each other at Café Connect. To be welcoming friends old and new into the Trinity Centre or sitting down together in a midweek group. “We’ll meet again” as the Queen put it a few months ago, though the journey to vaccination and beyond will need patience and resilience.
And yet at the same time we’ve seen steps forward in “faith, hope and love” in different ways. We’ve seen new opportunities to be serving those who are vulnerable and lonely in our communities. We’ve been able to reach out to neighbours and those closest to us. We’ve stepped forward into a life that is slightly less frenetic or more intentional. Whether gathered or scattered, we remain united in Christ.
Finally COVID has led me to be thinking about the Christmas story with fresh eyes this year. In a lockdown world I’ve noticed how the good news of the coming of Christ comes primarily in people’s homes. Luke’s gospel has an angel appearing to Mary at home, going about her daily existence and trying to work out what God is up to – as many of us have been this year. God speaks to Joseph in a dream about this coming child – “Emmanuel” – as he is asleep, a signal thankfully better than some of the bedroom-bound ZOOM calls people have been on since March. And the Magnificat – that great song of hope and deliverance – comes in a one-to-one home visit between Mary and Elizabeth. Thankfully no social distancing or “Christmas bubbles” needed there!
And then comes the birth of Christ. I’ve preached elsewhere how “Jesus wasn’t born in a stable”, which spoils our collective memories of amazing school nativities and of grumpy innkeepers but might lead to a deeper truth. When Luke talks about there being “no space in the guest room” he describes the coming of Christ in the midst of family, and all the visiting relations, and the precious animals, right in the thick of it and demanding our attention. They made room for Jesus at the heart of their homes and the heart of their family. God with us, God in us, God alongside us. Emmanuel.
Whatever our Christmas guest list looks like on the 25th December, may we know God with us in every way wherever we are. With our love and our prayers from us all.
February 23, 2022
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January 01, 2021