Christmas

Christmas 2: "Not just about happy families"

The Reverend Margaret Legg

Christmas is not only about happy families, as the secular world would increasingly have us believe. It is about reality. And the reality of life, I suggest, is that we are all prone to do what we shouldn’t. Those in power are particularly prone, especially when they wield that power by force, not consent.

Christmas: "A Fixer-Upper"

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

Presents are bought, wrapped and under the tree, stockings are hung, biscuits baked, many, many mince pies consumed, fizz is chilled or maybe it’s already drunk, and the roast is ready for cooking tomorrow. At last, the night everybody’s been waiting for, when the bearded man in red comes to visit. Don’t worry - Jeremy Corbyn isn't here.

Christmas: "A Christmas Carol"

The Revd Margaret Legg

Glory is one of those golden threads in our faith, running through the Christmas story, through scripture and through our service. Remember the angels’ song of joy to the shepherds, ‘Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth’? It is picked up in the Gloria which we sang earlier, after the Confession and Absolution: a joyful response to God’s forgiveness; our next carol ‘Angels from the realms of glory’ majors in it (watch out for the refrain) and we heard in today’s Gospel that in Jesus ‘we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son’, but, ‘the world knew him not.’ Certainly Scrooge knew him not!

Christmas: "Spectacles Not Spectacle"

The Revd Brutus Green

When I was about 8 I decided I didn’t believe in God. I know what you’re thinking - how childish, how silly; but it was just a phase I was going through and all children like their little rebellions. On the particular day, I remember going to my middle brother with a number of questions. Probably in the background were certain matters following Santa-gate; perhaps some disappointment concerning doubts cast over the gods of Roman, Greek and Norse mythology.

Christmas: "The Gospel According to Peter O'Toole"

The Revd Brutus Green

There was a time in my misspent youth when I would go to the pub before midnight mass. It was an annual mini-school reunion each year as people returned, like Joseph and Mary, to the town of their birth. We’d have a bunch of beers, then I’d nip home, collect Dad, who’d glower disapprovingly at me for being a little merry and usually late, before stumbling down the hill to belt out the carols, legs crossed and teeth gritted through the too-long sermon, finally losing my voice somewhere in ‘Hark the Herald’, which I still believe is the express reason Mendelssohn wrote that uncomfortably-high tune.

Christmas: "Clothe Yourselves with Love!"

Luke portrays Jesus as a model Kid’s Club child, listening, asking questions, participating in the cut and thrust of the Jewish method of midrash: resolving problems in the interpretation of difficult passages of the text of the Hebrew Bible. It’s lively, argumentative and allows the students to ask questions of the rabbis who then may well fire back even better questions in response.

Christmas: "Remembering Forwards"

The mind is a strange thing. Take the peculiar case of Jedediah Buxton in the eighteenth century. In most respects he knew less than an average 10 year old but he had a prodigious head for numbers. So when he was asked how many times a coach wheel, six yards in circumference, would turn on the 204 mile journey from London to York he provided the correct answer of 59,840, in only 13 minutes.

Christmas: "Presents for the Journey"

The Revd Brutus Green

The Christmas Story begins with a journey. Like so many of the Old Testament stories, Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and the people of Israel, and all the threats of exiles and promises of return, and later in the New Testament the missionary journeys, followed by all the journeys of saints and missionaries which took Christianity to every corner of the globe; Christmas like every human story is the story of a journey.