Minister's / Elder's Letter
We shall soon be writing and receiving our Christmas cards but when I see some of the cards that are on sale it makes me sad. Christmas is a festival to celebrate the birth of Jesus but you wouldn’t think so when you read some of the greetings and messages. “Winter wishes especially for you” was the message I read on one card. But there was no mention of the Christ Child, whose birth we read about in the Bible and which we are reminded of as we sing Christmas carols.
The prophet Isaiah wrote “The people that walked in Darkness have seen a great light…..for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” but even in this country, where we enjoy freedom of worship, there are many who are still walking in Darkness – in the darkness of ignorance or unbelief. Thankfully this is not the whole story. There are millions in the world who do believe and their numbers are on the increase. They know and love the One who is the Light and the Hope and the Saviour of the world. They have invited him to come into their hearts and He has changed their lives and this is why they worship and adore Him. This Christmas they will be in church and like the shepherds after they had found the babe lying in a manger, they will be glorifying and praising God.
There are usually more people who come to church at Christmas than at any other time of the year but sadly there are more who don’t come. We need to try to encourage them to join us. The reason that they don’t come is because they have obviously not realised who Jesus is and why He came. The angel said to Joseph, “You shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins”. None of us is without sin and whoever we are we need to be saved. But when we know Jesus as our Saviour we need to share our knowledge of Him with others, so that they too may know the joy of His salvation.
The message of the angel was indeed good news. It was joyful news not just for the shepherds but for everyone. This Christmas let us see if we can invite someone to come to one of our Christmas services. The Christmas story is part of the greatest story ever told and those who have heard it need to share it.
As Christians, we have so much more to offer people than winter wishes. We want everyone to know about the One who can lighten their Darkness. The Man who was born in Bethlehem came that we might have life – life in all its fulness. We need to love Him but so does everyone else. Let’s not keep Him to ourselves.
I wish you a joyous Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.