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St Paul’s And Holy Cross

1st of December 2012

In the traditional service of Nine Lessons and Carols, taking place at St Paul’s on 21 December, the third lesson will be taken from the Old Testament in the book of Isaiah, chapter 9, starting with these words, ‘the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light’.

Light has been at the forefront of three huge events this year. The lighting of over two thousand beacons in the British Isles formed part of the celebrations of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and who can forget the amazing Olympic and Paralympic flames? I will always remember with much fondness local resident, David Butler, running through the streets of Hemel Hempstead carrying the Olympic torch as part of the relay which involved thousands of people, all nominated by others.

In the Christmas narrative the wise men followed a bright light in the sky. Jesus is described in John’s gospel as, ’the life which was the light of men’.

The journey we make this Christmas may be hampered by commercial reference points that could separate us from the true meaning of Christmas. Therefore, the prayer of those of us with a Christian faith is that the enthusiasm and passion demonstrated by the Jubilee beacons, Olympic torches and the Olympic and Paralympic flames will encourage us this Christmas to be a light to those around us, in the way that we act towards our family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and most especially to strangers. On behalf of us all at St Paul’s church, we wish you a joyful, peaceful Christmas and a very happy New Year.
Philip Waine, Lay Reader, St Paul’s Church

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