Rev Chris’ Blog
Join me each month as I ponder life with all the highs and lows we encounter along the way.
I hope you enjoy my blog whose aim is to raise a smile as well as give food for thought.
As always, I would love to hear from you, so please contact me 01278 781147 or [email protected]
God bless you,
Parish Priest for The Huntspills & Mark
December 2021 A precious gift
To my amazement, as you read this, I’m aware that some of you will already have all your Christmas gifts bought, wrapped and labelled! I dream of being that organised, but it hasn’t happened yet. I enjoy giving gifts, once I’ve figured out what would be a good gift to give, and provided I can find it, but at times my mind goes blank and I just don’t know where to start. One year I decided I’d beat the rush, and headed into town at a time that I thought was really early for Christmas shopping, only to find the shops were heaving with other shoppers who had obviously had the exact same thought.
Apparently, coffee machines, pyjamas and pizza ovens are topping the lists this year, along with all sorts of blue tooth techie gifts, vegan boots and bicycle baskets. I guess that says a lot about the year we’ve been having. On that front, it seems I don’t need to go to the shops at all, as the internet can do the hard work for me, though I still believe that there is also something to be gained in seeing and handling some gifts before buying them.
This year, more than ever, we are encouraged to buy local, avoid single-use plastic, consider the environment, support fairtrade and sustainable production, and give in a meaningful way – so maybe send a goat, or sponsor a hearing dog. Whatever gifts we do give, I hope and pray that we will hold onto the lessons we’ve learned over the last year or two, and truly treasure the joy of being able to be together, safely. At the end of the day, surely the most precious gift we can give is our time, our attention, our energy – our ‘selves’. After all, each gift given is at its heart a symbol or sign of love – not the love itself.
Whether you are a fabulous gift-giver, or like me, one that does their best and manages to hit the mark sometimes, this Christmas may you know that you are loved and treasured……by friends and family, near and far, and by the one who has given us all the strangest gift ever: the gift of his only son, entrusted into our hands and hearts, to inspire ad enable us to be the very best that we can be.
Wishing you love, joy and peace this Christmas time and throughout 2022!
God bless you,
November 2021 Sparklers, candles & light shining in the darkness
As winter draws in and the evenings plunge us into darkness, so the wonder of fireworks and bonfires come into their own. My sister’s birthday falls on 5th November, so remembering it is easy and we often celebrate at a firework display – something that we both delight in. Remembering Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to ‘blow up Westminster and assassinate King James the First’ has survived as a pleasurable task – connecting us to our history and giving a great excuse for a party.
November is a month for much remembering. In addition to Guy Fawkes we celebrate ‘All Saints’ (on the Sunday nearest to 1st November, which this year will be 31st October) when we remember the Christians that have given us examples to follow…..those we know of by name (including Catherine of Alexandria, after whom the Catherine Wheel is named) and the many whose names we do not know.
On the same day as ‘All Saints’ we also mark ‘All Souls’, when we remember our own loved ones who have died, recently and a while ago, cherishing their memories and supporting one another on our continuing journey through grief.
‘Remembrance Sunday’ and ‘Remembrance Day’ also help us to acknowledge the great sacrifice of those who gave their lives for peace and freedom, in the World Wars and ever since.
In all this remembering there is a powerful image of light in the darkness. The exciting sparklers and colourful fireworks, alongside the simple candles lit in remembrance and the wonder of birthday candles. Even a seemingly small candle can overcome the darkness, encouraging hope and spreading warmth. As we move deeper into the dark and cold of Winter, may we know and share the light, showing the way, leading us onwards, guiding us towards the resplendent glow of a star, of angels in the sky, of Christmas tree lights and of the one who is the Light of the World.
God bless you,