First Word December January 2019


Christmas is a mystery Our modern world desires reason and explanation; thus to speak of awe and wonder and of mystery can appear alien in our technological world. Science and medicine can present as if it has the answers but there is much that lies beyond human knowledge to explain. As we approach Christmas we find ourselves surrounded by decorations, lights and carols but look beyond ourselves and we see the sufferings of a divided world – of divided families – of all who suffer for whatever reason and are in pain – simply longing to know they are loved and valued. The birth of a child brings that tension of the anguish of the birth pangs of a mother into sharp focus as it turns to the joy of the birth of new life. This is the mystery we find at the heart of Jesus’ coming into our midst in the humble setting of a stable. In the streets of Bethlehem there will follow the death of the Holy Innocents as a worldly ruler for fear of his kingdom seeks to prop up his authority by threat and force. Yet despite the dilemma of joy and pain – of the new life in a stable and of death on a cross and new life springing from an empty tomb. The mystery of Incarnation, of God’s coming into our midst as the Christ child, has inspired more music, painting and writing than any other event in human history. Christmass, the mass of Christ’s birth into our world, cannot be packaged or tied down. In the mystery of this human birth we touch the eternal presence of God, a truth lying beyond our logic or analysis. Our response is to come and kneel in awe and wonder, to love Him who is overflowing with Love and then to go and share that love in the world and amongst those we meet; for it is to the world he sends us. May you have a Happy & Blessed Christmas and Peace in the New Year. Fr. Stuart Nairn and Fr. Richard Howells