faithbook     A message for quiet meditation

by JAN FARROW, Lay Reader at Holy Epiphany



I recently came across a little booklet I was given last year entitled, ‘Comfort and Joy’. As I saw those words I thought, yes, yes, please can we enjoy Christmas this year 2021; will there be a Carol concert, a Christmas Tree festival, a Christingle? Will we be with family and friends, able to eat a meal TOGETHER, exchange our gifts in the comfort and warmth of our own homes? Now, given what’s going on in the wider world, I guess this could be construed as being rather selfish, but ….. Comfort and Joy. Well, church will probably still not be what it was pre-Covid. We are still having to be very safety-conscious and rightly so. But, where is our comfort and Joy as we enter this season of advent and Christmas?


I can’t imagine that Mary was terribly comfortable let alone joyful as she and Joseph made the long journey to Bethlehem, and what about their arrival? Not terribly hospitable. The stable would have been noisy, chaotic and messy, not the best of places to give birth.

Yet into this confusion came baby Jesus. bringing the gift of God’s peace. Is this not a constant reminder to us that Emmanuel, God is with us, in the here and now, no matter what our circumstances or feelings.

This year I want to be reminded that love came down at Christmas, I want to remember that this was good news, Joy to the world. I want to be able to experience God’s comfort and Joy and to know that we are loved and accepted unconditionally. The fact that we don’t always have to be in control is God’s gift to each one of us, and our circumstances are certainly not in or under our control.



I find there is something quite comforting in my Christmas preparations, indeed my Advent candle ring has been out all year, I dressed it in summer flowers, but it is now waiting to be festooned with fir cones, holly and sparkle, and off we go again.

This Christmas I pray that we will worship at the manger, (even if we can’t kneel anymore!), that we will accept God’s gift to us, and that we will take Jesus afresh into our hearts and minds.

May you experience God’s Comfort and Joy this Christmas-tide.