Dear Church Family,
As we approach the 3rd Sunday of Advent and focus once again on John the Baptist I’d like to focus our attention on the ways in which we might approach Christmas. There’s a wonderful website called www.fourkindsofchristmas.com which lays out 4 of the ways we, in the Western World, tend to think about Christmas – do try and watch the spoken word performance video on the site as it’s well worth your time.
Which of these 4 ways do you most relate to?
1. Scrooge – dwelling in the darkness, avoiding coming into the light in order to remain unchanged by God?
2. Shopper – living entirely in the moment, hell-bent on having some serious fun because you think there’s nothing more to life than what we experience in the moment?
3. Santa – someone who likes to tap into the spiritual at this time of year, regarding God as a “gift giver in the sky” to all those who have been good this year. Someone who wants the gifts but not the giver.
4. Stable – God’s answer to the world’s darkness in which the King of heaven becomes powerless. The Light of the world descends to the darkness. The giver of life is born to die.
It’s a little bit of fun looking at a very serious theological issue! The point, of course, is how do we as the Christian family here in Hutton (and beyond), make the God of the Stable known in the middle of the darkness and difficulties of the world? God is with us – that is the message of hope we have in the Gospel. Endless despair, consumerism, or even spiritualism won’t come close to answering the big questions that life throws at us.
I spent some time in All Saint’s school this week talking with some 9 and 10 years old about difficult things like sickness and death. My heart broke for them as I realised that many of them had seen family members and friends get ill and, in some cases, die this year. It’s an experience we all have to go through and they, rightly, wanted to know what sort of a God (if any) is out there and why do these horrible things happen. Forgetting the bleakness of being a Scrooge or a Shopper and looking at the “Santa” approach to spirituality – we might ask, “why do we let this view of God endure?”
A lot of children have the idea that God is like this. For a child, Santa is huge amounts of fun – he dispenses gifts and brings cheer and wonder into our lives. But a little theological unpicking shows us that Santa in the sky is petty, and vengeful – deciding on who is in and who is out: who gets blessed and who gets coal. I want our children to understand and know the God in the stable. I want them to know that He is with them, that he is for them, and that they are loved, precious, and made in His image. I want them to know that he desires for them to know Him and spend their lives pursuing Him instead of pursuing despair, consumerism, or cheap spirituality.
Let’s start sharing that Good News this Advent and Christmas and really blessing our children!
Regular weekly worship in December
Wednesdays, 9.30 am at All Saints – Prayer Book Holy Communion
Sundays, 9.30 am at St Peter’s – Holy Communion with music group (also live-streamed on Facebook)
Sundays, 11.15 am at All Saints – Holy Communion or Morning Prayer
Morning Prayer: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays at 9 am on Facebook
Evening Prayer: Thursdays at 6 pm on Facebook
This Sunday's pew sheet can be downloaded here:
Extra Services and Events in December
Sunday 13th December, 7 pm at St Peter’s – Contemporary worship for Advent. (No booking required)
Friday 18th December: Carols in the café, 7 pm at St Peter’s. £5pp FULLY BOOKED
Sunday 20th December: Carols in the café, 6 pm at St Peter’s. £5pp FULLY BOOKED
Tuesday 22nd December, 3 pm at St Peter’s: Messy Christingles 11 Spaces left!
Wednesday 23rd December, 3 pm at St Peter’s: Messy Christingles FULLY BOOKED
Christmas Eve, 2 pm & 4 pm at St Peter’s: Messy Christingles BOTH FULLY BOOKED
Midnight Mass, 11.30 pm at All Saints FULLY BOOKED
Midnight Mass, 11.30 pm at St Peter’s 8 Spaces Left!
You can book to attend any of these events by going to www.huttonparish.com/book-online or by calling Dawn Shaxon on 01277 262864. Payment can be made either online or at the time of the event.
Please note that the Christmas raffle will take place today (Sat 12th) at 4 pm. You can watch the draw live on Facebook!
Christmas Day Worship with a sermon – available from 8 am on Facebook only.
Sunday 27th December, Holy Communion – available from 9.30 am on Facebook only.
The word of caution with all of the events listed above is that they may need to be cancelled if there is a localised outbreak of Coronavirus or the “Tier” we are in is changed. We are doing our utmost to keep the buildings as clean and as safe as we can. If you are coming to any church event, please do bring your masks, be ready to wash your hands, and to sign in at the door!
With every blessing this Advent,