2017 December

Dear friends,

Christmas 2000 lives long in my memory. Because that was the year we didn’t have a baby in the manger.

I had been working with the junior youth group to make nativity figures for the church carol service out of cardboard, papier mâché and chicken wire which were as tall as the young people. As we worked, we talked about the events around the first Christmas and their significance. We deliberately decided not to make a baby for the manger. We wanted to make the point in the carol service that, while we were celebrating his birthday, Jesus was no longer a baby – he had grown up. He was alive and living among us.

Unfortunately, most of the adults didn’t get it. All they were bothered about was that there was no baby in the manger, and afterwards a doll kept mysteriously appearing in the manger - and we kept taking it out! It certainly became a talking point, such that the following Christmas I was asked “Will there be a baby in the manger THIS year?” And when I was leaving the circuit, the minister who followed me was even asked “And do you have a baby in your manger at Christmas?” They totally missed the point!

Whatever you are doing, wherever you are doing it, and whoever you are doing it with – I hope that you will remember what is most important and what the point of it all is. Yes, we celebrate the awesome reality that God is born among us, as a vulnerable human being. Just like us. But we also celebrate that the baby has grown up, and we celebrate all that he grew to be and do – and all that he is and does today.

What if that same Jesus wants to surprise you and show you a different way of doing things? What if that same Jesus is saying to you “I have come that YOU might have life – in all its fullness” and offering the gift of new life to you today? The Good News, for you and for everyone, is that “he’s grown, that baby.” May you know the reality of his presence with you.

When we join together for our circuit Covenant service on Sunday 7th January (10.30am at Formby Methodist Church) we will also be celebrating the feast of Epiphany when we remember the revelation of Jesus to the Gentiles represented by the Magi – it is a time to celebrate together God revealing himself to us and make our response.

May you know the blessing of God’s peace and joy.

Rachel Deigh.

Page last updated: 25th March 2019 11:45 AM