Even the adverts on television are acknowledging that this Christmas won’t be normal, but there’s still something comforting about seeing families enjoying all the festivities. The music is upbeat; decorations and lights shine in the darkness, and families look happy and joyful. At least that’s the picture, filling us with hope that we can still celebrate in some way. But how sad will we be to miss the Christmas services in church! We will do our best online, but we all know it won’t be the same. The message is still the same though. Advent and Christmas is the time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and no virus can take that away from us. Indeed, we should make up our minds to have the best Christmas we can under the circumstances!
Instead of our Gift Service this year, can I ask you to consider giving directly to Johnstone Business Consortium? They have contacts for those in the greatest need. They are looking for gifts for boys and girls, from 4-12 years only. They are collecting items at the bandstand on Saturday 5th December 11am-1pm. If that time doesn’t suit, you could bring your gift to the church on Fridays 27th November or 4th December between 12 – 1pm. Please do not wrap the gifts but attach Christmas paper with an elastic band. This will make it easier to distribute and also give the parents the joy of wrapping the gifts for their children.
And now I have a note for the Elders. Please pick up a bag with your name on it from the vestibule in the Church on Friday 27th November between 12 and 1pm. It will contain items for distribution, including offerings envelopes, Christmas Cards, and a wee gift for every household in your district. My, that will be a busy day. Please remember your masks and social distancing. And here’s a wee prayer I came across during the week. It’s A Prayer for Putting on a Face Mask
Creator God, as I prepare to go into the world, help me to see the sacramental nature of wearing this cloth. Let it be a tangible and visible way of living love for my neighbours, as I love myself.
Christ Jesus, since my lips will be covered, uncover my heart, that people would see my smile in the crinkles around my eyes. Since my voice may be muffled, help me to speak clearly, not only with my words, but with my actions.
Holy Spirit, as the elastic touches my ears, remind me to listen carefully and caringly to all those I meet. May this simple piece of cloth be shield and banner, and may each breath that it holds, be filled with Your love. In Your name and in that love, I pray. Amen
(Rev. Richard Bott, Moderator Presbyterian Church of Canada.)