Christmas Letter 2022
As we continue our Advent journey to Bethlehem, I cannot help but think upon this past year. Our community and indeed in the whole world around us have celebrated great triumphs, grieved the tragedies of conflict and loss, and have maneuvered through sometimes challenging transitions. As our Church and society at large come out of the worst aspects of Covid we find ourselves sometimes finding new ways to what we used to do and perhaps took for granted. The merger of St. John’s and St. Martin’s this past year serves as an example. As we mourn the loss of St. Martin’s we are at the same time charting a new course for ourselves as a renewed community; one we trust will be energized as we journey forward. It has in many ways been a momentous year for our Church and the world and Advent can perhaps give us the time and space to reflect.
Every year, of course, our Advent journey has a destination. The word ‘Bethlehem’ can be translated as ‘House of Bread’. When I think of that I recall Jesus’ words, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”. Our Advent journey ends when we once again come to the newborn Jesus and believe in him. We believe once again in a God who guides us and love us beyond all measure. We believe once again in a God who is always with us in our triumphs, in our tragedies and in our transitions. We believe once again in the miracle that did and continues to change the world.
Every year, of course, we do arrive at Bethlehem. The angels says, “I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord”. Our Advent journey is then over, and it is time to celebrate what the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer once called the absolute change of all things. The birth of Christ is a sign to us of the great and lasting renewal of peace, hope, joy and love. At Christmas we get to dream out loud again. We get to rejoice with family and friends a love that is meant to spread peace hope and joy through us and to the whole world. At Christmas we are surrounded with the light of God, and we once again start our yearly pilgrimage of life with renewed spirit.
I wish you and all your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and many blessings from God in the year ahead.
The Reverend Patrick Blaney
Our Christmas Services
Blue Christmas Service Tuesday, December 20 at 7:00PM
Christmas Eve family Service Saturday, December 24 at 5:00pm
Christmas Eve Traditional Candlelight Service Saturday, December 24 at 8:00pm