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St John & St Mark Church, Bury

Message For The Month

   December 2017 & January 2018:

Dear Friends

I am always interested in the various advertising campaigns that try to link the season of Christmas into our commercial world.

As I write this article, the bakery chain Greggs has had to apologise for inadvertently causing offence by replacing Jesus with a sausage roll in the Nativity scene. The phrase “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” comes to mind……..

A few years ago a billboard poster proclaimed “CHISMAS - Christmas isn’t Christmas without the RT” – a none too subtle advert for the Radio Times.

Another campaign around the same time by the Christian Publicity Organisation showed pictures of various festive items such as turkey, presents, TV, tree, pudding, cards etc with a sticker placed over them saying “Make room for God this Christmas”.

This reflected an important lesson that without celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the festival is an empty sham. The true meaning of Christmas doesn’t involve shopping, turkey or tinsel but the celebration of the birth of God’s Son - the promised Messiah.

At its heart, the focus of Christmas is all about a mother and her baby. In one sense an ordinary, everyday story. In another,  a unique event in history. That baby would grow up to be a man who died on a cross and then rose again to teach us of God’s everlasting love for us all.

Our response should be to love Him in our lives – and love our neighbour as ourselves. This mirrors the example of the Son of God himself who shows us the Father and gives us the Holy Spirit as our guide and helper.

Love came down on Christmas Day

So many years ago

And brought the greatest happiness

The world would ever know.

 

Peace came down on Christmas Day

To fill the hearts of men

With all the sweet tranquillity

Each Christmas brings again.

 

Joy came down on Christmas Day

As angels came to earth

Heralding the miracle

Of our Messiah’s birth.

 

What lovely gifts to all of us

These three so rich and rare,

And every year at Christmas time

We see them everywhere.

 

Wishing you all God’s blessings this Advent, Christmas & Epiphany,

Dave