Pastoral Letter

The December & January Pastoral Letter from Fr Kevin

Dear Friends,

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David and the virgin’s name was Mary. (Luke 1:26)

The Annunciation to Mary begins our journey towards the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and St Luke, in his gospel, begins the account of the life of Jesus.

Advent, which starts on 3rd December, begins a period of preparation and waiting to celebrate, once again, the birth of Christ at Christmas. Traditionally it is a time of quiet and joyful expectancy.

Advent, Christmas and Epiphany are times of celebration. We recall the joy of the Christ child, and the inner joy of knowing that the God of love has come into the world to share in our lives and to show us the way to live; to reveal his love for all.

I expect you may be looking forward to being with family and friends this Christmas or perhaps you may be one of many who find that Christmas is a difficult time; being alone or thinking about Christmas's past.

Whatever your thoughts the reality is that the light of Christ has entered our world and that His light shines in the darkness, and will always do so.

At Christmas we must call to mind and help those who will be suffering; those who live in fear or need, and those who feel unwanted or unloved.

Mary’s ‘Yes’ to God can also be our yes to Him, for God loves each and every one of us and calls us into a relationship with Him, and with patience and faith we can discover such love.

During Advent try to make time to be still in what has become a very busy time of year; try to focus on the true message of Christmas. Come in awe and wonder for what God has done and is doing and when Christmas comes once more we can truly give thanks and praise to God in celebration!

The festival of Epiphany recalls the Magi visiting the Christ Child. Following a star, they had searched for Him and when they found Him they bowed down and worshipped. They gave gifts of Gold Frankincense and Myrrh.

As we sing those familiar carols this year, let the words express our love of God in Jesus. Let them touch our hearts and minds. May they fall afresh upon us and move us to enter deeper into the joy of Christmas.

‘O Little town of Bethlehem’

O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray.

Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today.

We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell:

O come to us, abide with us Our Lord Emmanuel.

May the Christ child be born anew in us this Christmas and may Christmas be for you a time of inner joy and peace.

Kate and I, along with the whole ministry team at St Mary’s, wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

May God bless each one of you with His love.

Happy Christmas! Your priest and friend,

Fr Kevin