I had a great day yesterday (Wednesday). In the morning I joined Tabz, Hettie and Rev Simon (Christ Church) for the Schools Worker Trust Christmas Production at Farnborough Road Junior School. I was an Elf called Timon! In the afternoon I watched the Infant School Nativity Production which was fantastic. The air was filled with excitement from the children, whose young lives abound with innocent expectation.
As we get older, the realities of life can kick in; different for each of us, depending upon the individual route our lives have travelled. As we get older, with more life experience, we will have inevitably suffered more loss and sorrow. This is not only confined to the loss of a loved one, it can also be other forms of grief resulting from loss. The feelings we have from this become more poignant upon birthdays, anniversaries and especially so at Christmas. I can never remember details from the 25th of any other month, although I can always remember where I was and who I was with on the 25th December, and at the other gatherings at this time of year. So naturally Christmas can become a particularly unsettling and difficult time for many - and this is totally understandable. It’s OK for us not to be filled with expectation and excitement, and rather with concern and caution, knowing that we don’t quite know how it will be for us at Christmas.
When Jesus knew that the end of his earthy ministry was coming to an end he shared the following words with his disciples. May you this Christmas know these words of comfort from Jesus are also for you.
‘The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John Ch 11 vs 25-27).