Posted by Ruth Peet on Saturday, December 7, 2019 Under: From the Vicar
It’s just unbelievable isn't it? It is literally only two minutes since I was trying to combine the preparation for last Christmas with starting the packing so that we could move home to Aylesford! I just can’t compute that that was a year ago and that Christmas is here again already. But never mind, because I am so looking forward to Christmas with you, and to sharing in all the wonderful things we have planned at St. Peter and St. Paul’s.
The biggest of those (well the one taking the most work anyway :) ) is the Lights of Love Festival. Local organisations are each sponsoring one of ten Christmas trees, and each tree will be sparkling with white lights ... and silver stars, each with the name of someone we have loved and lost, will be placed on all the trees. In everything we do over Christmas, we’ll be surrounded by these lovely memories. If you would like a star and haven’t ordered it yet, please see pages 5 and 6. We will turn on the tree lights at the Lights of Love Opening Service, at 10am on Sunday 1st December and it would be lovely to welcome you to that. The church is beautiful anyway, as we all know, but it’s going to look amazing with the trees in it. The church will be open every Saturday and Sunday in December (with hot drinks. mince pies, cakes etc) so everyone will have the chance to take a look.
Other new adventures this year include a Christmas Family Service in the Capel Morris Centre (in the RBLI village) at 3pm on Saturday 14th December. Bring all the family for a fun time, singing Christmas carols and exploring the best story ever told. Drinks and cake afterwards.
And on Saturday 21st December, at 5pm, in front of Preston Hall, we will meet for family carol singing - with more warm drinks and things to keep us going.
All these new beginnings reflect the astonishing new thing that God did at the very first Christmas. Saddened by the wilful ways of the world and the movement of humankind away from his ways of peace and love, God came into the world as Jesus, to show us what true love and grace and humility look like, and to rescue us and restore the relationship between God and us. He just could not let us go.
And in that first Christmas story, we see exactly who he couldn’t let go. Not those of us who live perfect and pious lives (right - not any of us) but refugees, the homeless, the poor, the frightened, the vulnerable, the shocked, the disappointed, those who think they’ve got it all worked out and fail miserably, those who muddle along wondering if there’s more to life, to mention just a few characters in the Christmas story. Whoever we are, whatever we have done or not done, there’s a place in God’s new beginning for us if we want it.
Another new thing being offered in January and February is a course called Christianity Explored, which actually has the tagline ‘What’s the best news you’ve ever heard?’ We’ll be running that on Saturday mornings from 11th Jan to 22nd Feb, 9.30am for coffee, start at 10am - 12 noon. If you would like to know more about the astounding love that would not let us go, then please come along.
Meanwhile my prayer is that, secure in the gift of such amazing love, you will have a truly blessed and peaceful Christmas.
In : From the Vicar