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Viewpoint from Rev Helen Garrard 17/12/2021

HELEN GARRARD 05-2020Rev Helen Garrard
Lead Chaplain, Norfolk Community Health and Care
Associate Priest in the Rockland Benefice (Bramerton Group)


Christmas Reflection


Christmas is coming, and whether we like it or not it will soon be here! This is a time for preparation, celebration, and commemoration. This year we may be hopeful of doing many of the things we couldn’t do last year and I am sure that already our diaries and heads are full of these possibilities. But whilst holding this hope we also hold the knowledge that last year was very different and so much around us in the world today still feels different. For many of us there will be people not present with us this Christmas whom we might have been with in Christmases gone by
dove leftChristmas is a time to look forward with hope - but it is also a time to look behind us to all that has been
In the ancient philosophies of many world faiths we see a cycle of order- disorder- re order: this means that one minute things are good and predictable then something happens which changes that; following the disruption a new order needs to be found and we need to discover ourselves within that
In the Christian tradition the story of Christmas is one of order, disorder, re-order. Mary thought she knew what she was doing with her life; a faithful Jewish girl, obedient to her parents and God and respecting of her tradition then along comes an angel who totally disorders her world.  Although prefaced by the words “do not be afraid”, I am sure little could have prepared her for the chaos of being the mother of God’s only Son. The disorder of which is made known within the Christmas story; the journey to Bethlehem upon a donkey and not even finding a comfortable bed in which to rest before giving birth - and if that is not enough chaos then let’s bring a host of angels and a flock of sheep and shepherds to the makeshift maternity ward in a stable
But the re-order, the “new normal” is the message of hope and meaning which Christmas holds at its heart. Gods’ son Jesus living among us and showing us all that forgiveness, healing and eternal are not only possible but also promised to us
As we gather with those whom we love this Christmas I hope and pray that we will, amidst all the disorder of recent months and years, find a re-order from knowing  love, joy and peace in the presence of those we will see and those from whom we are parted



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