Thought for the month

Thought from Sainthill - December 2020

I’m writing this on the 12th November, and have just received my first Christmas card! In a ‘normal’ year (I use that word often these days!) the pressure would soon be on for the ‘perfect’(!) Christmas: the gifts and cards, the timings, the travel, the relatives, -preparing, shopping, cooking, etc.. How often you have wanted to shout Time out! Can we have a quieter, less stressful, more peaceful time?” Have you longed for more simplicity, less spending, lower expectations (even if self-imposed) and a bit more time just to be?!
It seems that coronavirus may give us that, even if in unwanted ways, with restrictions on mixing, travelling and shopping opportunities. Of course, it means heartache for many, a vacant place at the table, less of the fun and the Christmas outings and parties. But I wonder if this year might give us an opportunity for that quieter, simpler, more homely Christmas time we may have longed for, amidst the frenzy of previous years. This time we have a good reason to say ‘no’ to the pressure of expectations, and a chance to say ‘yes’ to something deeper.
You would expect me to say, “Let’s make time for Jesus, the reason for the season” and I do say that, with time for joy, wonder, peace and rest, the things God gives us in the coming of his Son into the world. I challenge myself to reflect on the good things (there are enough bad ones) that we can draw from this difficult year, like the preciousness of those we love and may miss, or have lost, the sense of things deeper than the superficial, -and the need to reach beyond ourselves. The Christmas message speaks of all that, -in the quiet I may hear it better.
I wish you a restful, peaceful Christmas time, and a better New Year!

With my good wishes and prayers

David   (Minister, Sainthill Baptist Church. Telephone, 260071)