Luke 2: 4-7 (from The New Revised Standard Version Bible)

4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Dear Friends,

Rev'd Robert Sheard

There has already been talk this year that Christmas is cancelled! Don't worry it's not! It will just be a bit different from what we are used to. As I write this, we are just about to go into a second lock down hopefully only for a month. For a second time the churches have had to stop doing congregational worship within our buildings, but many will keep doing their worship on line.

We hope this month's lockdown will be just that, a month long. Even though we will not be able to celebrate the first Sunday of advent in our churches, we will be back in time to celebrate the lead up to Christmas, and Christmas in our churches.

Yes, it will be different, sadly we will not be able to sing all our favourite carols, or see the Nativity plays, but we will still be able to celebrate, for the story of Christmas stays the same. A child born into a world, that find his own country is under occupation by a foreign power. Born into poverty having to make his first resting place the trough where the animals feed. Jesus did not have an easy start to his life but he brought us a message of peace, Hope, Love and Grace and to grow up to be the saviour of the world who is still very much needed today. This is a message for everyone!

Our own family Christmas's will be different we will not be able to meet with all of them but it will not stop us celebrating. The tree and decorations will still go up, and the lights on the tree will be switched on, and the other lights we decorate our homes with will be switched on as well, reminding us that Jesus is the light of the world.

However, you celebrate Christmas keep well and keep safe have a good and blessed one.

Merry Christmas,

Rev'd Robert Sheard

United Reformed Church Minister of Stowmarket, Debenham, Stowupland, Mendlesham & Haughley

December 2020