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St Paul's And Holy Cross

2nd of December 2005

“We wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year: Good tidings we bring, to you and your kin…..” Pictures of carol singers in deep snow, with lanterns to light their way, will no doubt adorn most of our homes in one way or another this festive season.

Christmas…and…New Year. Any connections? Well, obviously the one follows the other, and a new calendar year will soon be upon us: 2006 … already!

Will it be a “Happy” New Year? It might just be if it is a New Year: new not in the sense of a change in the calendar, but new in the sense of a change in my character.

That is what Christmas is all about. God with us, making a radical difference to the way I live. This is the mind blowing message of Christmas, that the Creator God came and lived among us, so that He might live in us. Just as God took up residence in human form in the person of Jesus, the Creator can take up residence in your life and mine to transform it, from within, once we are ready to welcome His presence, love and power, to do just that. What a different world we would live in if everybody had the compassion, care and wholesomeness that is seen in Jesus.

Light bulbs are created to give light: but however strongly I might command one to shine, on its own it cannot. Only when vitally connected to the power supply can it fulfil the purpose for which it was manufactured. So it is with us. Only when Jesus Christ is welcome to flood my life day by day can I be new within – different – growing more into His likeness, living a life of compassion, understanding, purity and of servant nature: thus fulfilling the purpose for which I was created. That way, next year could be New.

“Now bring us some figgy pudding…..” “We won’t go until we’ve got some…so bring some out here” the song continues, revealing what so often lurks deep in the human heart. I want, for me. If that is the way 2006 begins it certainly won’t be new. It will be old like the last one, with all the usual hurts and pains with which we so easily trouble each other. A New Year does not mean no difficulties, but it can mean they are faced and shared with the One who makes people new, and changes the way we handle every circumstance of life.

With my prayers for a good Christmas and happy New Year,

Jim Stevens

The Holiday Club

Entitled Land Ahoy, Holiday Club took place over the October half term at Sarratt primary school, with 45 helpers of all ages coming from both parishes and St. Andrews, Chorleywood. We were able to cope with seventy-five children in a very well organised few days. Jenny had split the children into year groups and they all got to do games, crafts and drama with some joint times for reflection and worship in the main school hall. We were blessed with fine weather for most of the week and Holiday Club finished with a big Sunday celebration which saw many of the parents of the children join with us.

A big thank you needs to go to all the helpers including those behind the scene who helped with setting up, catering, clearing away, designing crafts, games, drama etc. A very special thank you to Christine Buck, head teacher, for the loan of Sarratt school.

 
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