Christmas at St Mark's

CHRISTMAS 2020

This has been a year of uncertainty and even with the light of a vaccine being rolled out there is still a sense of vagueness surrounding Christmas; will we be able to visit family? eat together? share mince pies with neighbours?
Strange as it may sound this uncertainty may better reflect the spirit of Christmas than our usual unbridled materialistic and joyous celebration. The Christmas story is loaded with danger. Mary travelling while heavily pregnant, Herod killing the infant boys, the family having to flee to Egypt; these event all heighten the danger in a story of hope presented to the Judeans, a people under occupation by the Romans. The danger foreshadows the death of Jesus as well as conjuring up the story of Moses and his 'battle' with Pharaoh and the peace and liberation he brought to the Hebrews as they escaped the slavery of Egypt.
One thing I have noticed this year is the slower pace of life. The threat of illness and the pain of death around us has perhaps given us a fresh appreciation of the simple things in life. Perhaps this year as we think about the dangers around us and the dangers in the Christmas story we will be able to engage more fully of with the hope of Emmanuel, God with us in the pain and suffering.

Normally we great each other with Happy Christmas but this year perhaps 'Hopeful Christmas' and 'Peace be with you' are more appropriate.

Rev Des