A Letter from the Vicar
Peace at Christmas-time
As we see the scenes from the Middle East or on the battlefields of Ukraine, all people are wanting this Christmas is peace. Whether it is at the level of personal relationships, within the family, within the world of work, or at an international level and relationships between countries, there is a real desire for peace, harmony and reconciliation at this time of year. Christmas is thought to be a chance for people to forget their differences for a short while and to live in peace.
Reality is different…
Sadly, the reality is actually very different. How many happy family scenes when people are opening their presents have ended in raised voices, arguments, hurtful words and broken toys, just a few hours later. In fact, the truth is crime statistics for domestic violence shoot up over the Christmas period and there are many more broken relationships and divorces at Christmas-time than romantic proposals and engagements to be married.
Jesus brought peace for eternity!
When Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem, he was born amidst controversy, and it is hard to think of a birth any time in history that has been more contentious and resulted in more conflicts.
Yet, Paul in his letter to the Colossians boldly declares;
‘For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Jesus and through him to reconcile to himself all things, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.’
You see, Jesus was born to become the saviour of the world, and through his death he gave us all the opportunity of a relationship with God.
As the Carol declares:
Hail the heaven born prince of peace
Hail the son of righteousness...
Mild he lays His glory by
Born that men no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
That first Christmas, Jesus’ birth did secure peace - peace and reconciliation between us and God, for this baby brought hope to a troubled world. And as I often say, “Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of God in our lives.”
May we all know this peace this Christmas-time and forevermore.