As will be the case for many other people, our ‘family Christmas’ will be very different this year. For a start, we are staying at home as we don’t want to break (or even stretch) Covid 19 rules and regulations. We don’t feel that this is a great sacrifice to make in view of all that is going on around us at the moment.

We will still celebrate Christmas with some of our (socially distanced) church members – and to us that is the most important aspect of Christmas. We will make sure that CHRIST is at the centre of our CHRISTmas. After all, it is HIS birth that we are supposed to be celebrating.

Most of us have had a really difficult 2020, but at least there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel as we hear news of an effective vaccine. There is definitely something to look forward to in 2021 and beyond. Obviously it is many years since Jesus was born into this world. He was as much of God as could be contained in a human being. When God took the form of a human child he came into a troubled world. When he became a man he brought the good news of God’s plan to those who would listen to him. He lived a life to show us how we, with God’s help, can live for others and do some good in our world. His work – his God-designed ministry on earth – was to bring good news of God’s love for his creation to all those who would listen. He was totally committed to God and he was totally committed to the human race. Through no fault of his own he was crucified and died on a cross. In the Bible we discover that he did this so that he could take all the punishment for all the wrong things people ever think or say or do. But his story does not end there – God raised him back to life again three days after he was buried in a tomb. Because this happened, anyone who believes that Jesus died on the cross for their sin and puts their trust in him will also be raised to life in heaven when they leave this world. This will be difficult for some people to believe. If that is the case for you, speak to someone who you know is a Christian and let them share their experience with you.

Just as we now all have hope because a vaccine will soon help us to deal with Covid 19, so we also have hope that our lives can be much more fulfilling if we allow Jesus to be a part of those lives. My prayer for you is that you have a Christ-filled Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Stephen Curnow (Major)