As the end of November draws near, there is a sense in which Christmas is very much coming. Whether it’s the cheerful singing in weekly rehearsals, the early Christmas decoration gift left on my desk, or the prevalence of adverts for things we don’t need, it’s definitely on its way.
It’s exciting to think that in one week our Christmas fair, organised by the P&F kicks off Advent and we can really start to celebrate.
A few times in the last few weeks we have sung the hymn in chapel “When I needed a neighbour”. The hymn takes children through the various ways that we can help one another and people in need and includes the line; “I was cold, I was naked were you there? Were you there?”
When I sang this line as a child I would invariably smirk at the idea of bare people and I noticed that the pupils had a similar approach to this verse. We stopped and unpacked the idea and the shame and embarrassment of being so poor that one did not have clothes to cover one’s body with and to give the children credit, the mood when singing that line did change quite drastically. In the world today, sadly there are children not only without clothes, but also food, water and a safe place to sleep. Our focus over the next few weeks is on all the aspects of the Christmas story which redefines what’s important in life. That child was born in the humblest of locations, with straw in his bed and animals all about. For me the simplicity of Christmas and the chance to focus on the gift of life and family is what it’s all about.
So next Saturday, do come and find gifts that you can share at the Christmas fair but also share your time and your talents to bring people together because in community there is also a great joy.
Have a great weekend.