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Viewpoint from Rev Selwyn Tillett 09/12/2016 

Rev Selwyn Tillett

selwyn tillett

Priest-in-charge of the Flegg Coastal group of churches (Winterton, Somerton, Horsey, and Hemsby

also published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury

Once again we’re approaching that time of year which can be magical for adults as well as children, or can be painful if it recalls bad memories, or if it comes at a time when life’s been hard or recent events have been difficult.   In a couple of weeks’ time we shall celebrate again the great festival of Christmas.  And this year I’ve been feeling really depressed at the number of TV adverts that tell us ‘Christmas is...’ all sorts of things, from cheap booze to the perfect expensive present

dove leftFor Christians, Christmas isn’t any of those things.  Before anything else it’s the time when God showed his great love for us most powerfully.  Every Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of his son Jesus.  The prophets of the Old Testament had told of his coming hundreds of years before; now his birth brought joy to ordinary people in his own time.  Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event.  They knew this was no ordinary baby
We enjoy telling the same story over and over again, year after year.  But we often forget the reason why it all happened in the first place.  Jesus’ story doesn’t end when we put the decorations away for another year.  Because Jesus grew up, He became famous as a healer, a teacher, a preacher.  He was someone who for the first time put a face on God.  His own friends finally recognised he was God’s son, and his enemies sent him to an appalling cruel death.  Then the final demonstration of who he truly is was given when he rose from the dead at the other great festival, Easter, and continued to inspire his disciples. And the existence of so many millions of his followers today is simple evidence of the truth of his message of God’s love
Dove rightSo his story isn’t over yet.  It goes on in the life of the church, and in the day-to-day work and witness of every church and every Christian community or family all over the world.   It goes on in the message that will be heard in two weeks’ time at so many special Christmas services;  Jesus’s own familiar message of truth, love, and hope.  And any local church will be very glad to see you if you want to find out more about him, even if it’s for the first time.   May his love be real for your homes and families this Christmas, into the New Year, and every year