December 2018/ January 2019 Newsletter
From our Interim Moderator
This magazine covers the two busiest months of the year for everyone – for the church, as for the shops and for our own social life with family and friends. It encompasses three religious seasons: Advent which starts this year on 2nd December; the 12 days of Christmas; leading into Epiphany on 6th January which ends with Candlemas in February.
At St David’s, there is so much going on over this period, as the pages and announcements in this Magazine amply show us. I hope you will all be able to take full advantage of the many opportunities to enjoy yourself and contribute to the various activities and church life as much as you can – whether it is helping in Messy Church, singing carols, working in the Food Bank, or coming to the several worship services to prepare for the coming of our Saviour during the Advent, to celebrate his birth during Christmas, and to take pleasure in the joy of Jesus being with us during Epiphany.
Many of us will welcome being able to spend some time with our immediate families, now much more scattered than ever before across the country, and indeed across the world. Many families take the opportunity, perhaps the only opportunity in the year, to get together over Christmas. Having three (or even four!) generations of family together, to eat together and to celebrate together, and hopefully to worship together, is one of the great highlights of the year for many people: perhaps meeting new partners or new grandchildren for the first time, or just being together instead of merely talking on the phone or on Skype or Facetime. For most families being even for a short period means so much to everyone, young and old.
However, we also know that over the Christmas period there is usually an upsurge in domestic violence and household conflict. For some families Christmas period may not be one of universal joy and pleasures shared, but a time of hardship and tension between family members. Family disputes over the holiday period tend to be associated with household poverty, at a time of great excess for those who do have money to spend, and individual addiction, at a time when normal celebration can lead to physical excess and emotional strain.
We all need to be on the lookout to support families in need, whether directly by much-needed additional giving to the Food Bank, or else in prayer for the vulnerable, especially children whose Christmas, and also into the New Year, is not the happy time they expect and need.
All of us in the church family at St David’s have so much to celebrate throughout this season as we get together. However, we know we need to find time to share our Christmas joy with others, and especially those outside our fellowship who experience this period as a time of tension and apprehension, and not at time of joy with Jesus. The need for our congregational outreach and demonstrating our commitment to serving the local community is even more necessary in this season than it is at other times.
This time of hustle and bustle, of coming and going, of ‘conspicuous consumption’ and over-indulgence, will enable most of us will have a great time, and will feel be the better for it. But we must not neglect to make room for Jesus, to take time to work for others in his service, to worship at the feet of the babe of Bethlehem, and to pray for the world that he came to lead into God’s everlasting peace and joy.
Do not forget Jesus at Christmas!
Yours in Christ,