What will Christmas look like this year? As I write we have just entered Lockdown 2. There is much talk of how we might save Christmas. It’s such a special time of year but quite difficult to prepare for as a church given that we don’t know whether or not we will be able to gather.
Harthill and Woodall is at its best when it gathers together as community. Whether that be in past years at the Carnival on Spens or this years recent 75th Anniversary VE Day celebrations. There is no doubt that the community is better together and social media has played a big part in enabling that to continue.
As I reflect on last year I remember the wonderful Christmas Tree Festival with so many community organizations creative contributions. There was the blessing of the beautiful Well Dressing in a packed church and the children’s singing was a joy. Our candlelit Carol Service last year was such a special occasion. Harthill Village Voices were in fine voice and the large congregation joined in the caroling with great enthusiasm. Finally family and friends snuggled closely together in our ancient church with their faces aglow with love. Illuminated by the tiny flame of the Christingle - the Christ light.
Christmas is about the hope a tiny child brings to a troubled world 2000 years ago and today. We don’t have to save Christmas because Christmas actually saves us through the birth of a baby named Emmanuel which means ‘God is with us.’ God is with us at all times. In the good times and the more challenging moments. God knows our deepest fears and will never abandon us.
I hope you will join me on Christmas Eve at 4.00pm on Facebook Live for a unique Christingle Service. Although we can’t be with one another it doesn’t mean we need remain apart.
The following Christmas Services are all on Wales Parish Church Facebook Live:
Midnight Mass 11.30pm
27/12 Cluster Service at Wales Parish Church
I pray that we will be able to hold a church service in All Hallows’ on Christmas Day at 10am.
May the light of the newborn Jesus illuminate your lives this Christmas and dispel the darkness and fear from your paths.
May God bless you and your family with a healthy and peaceful Christmas.