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A Christmas Message from The Revd Jonathan Jeffery –
Vicar of St Francis, Leigh Park & St Clare’s Warren Park.
How have you got on sending your Christmas cards this year? It is a great tradition and a lovely way for family and friends to show some love, and to remind one another that they are in our thoughts at the special time of Christmas.
Having said that, I think that the messages inside the Christmas cards fall into four categories. There is the “short but sweet” type. T…his simply has “much love and the names of the senders”. It is brief, simple and straight to the point. It can probably indicated a conveyor belt of cards where the same message is written over and over again. Next comes the plaintive message inspired by the Christmas season and the passing of another year. It might have the greeting “it would be good to see you next year” or something like “we must go for a drink in 2016”.
The fact is that meeting isn’t going to happen.
A fuller message might start to tell some news, making it more personal to the recipient, and for the sender to show a lot more effort. However, this type of chatty message is likely to be squeezed in on the blank part of the card, and so is limited for space. The writing gets smaller and smaller as space runs out and often there is a frantic “Bye!” at the very bottom.
Finally there is the Christmas Letter added into the envelope as a round-robin letter of news and achievement. These tend to tell an unrelenting tale of excellence and wonderful family success, and because in these days of computers and printers, these letters can be sent to all and sundry so that everyone who receives a Christmas Card is left in no doubt about how wonderfully the family have achieved in the year that has just passed.
I’m not a humbug! I will be sending Christmas cards with much love and best wishes to my family and friends, and I will undoubtedly be in touch with people I haven’t written to since last year. However, I will also be thinking about the real Message of Christmas. Not some hasty after-thought or some over-blown missal. Rather it will be the simple message
“God so loves the World that He sends us his Son”. This is the message from God to the World at Christmas – it is simple, clear and it comes from the heart – from God’s heart. It is a wonderful message for us to hear at Christmas and at any time. The gift of Jesus – born as a baby is a gift of love from God to each and every one of us. That is one message we must all be delighted to receive.
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas.
The Revd Jonathan Jeffery
Vicar of St Francis, Leigh Park & St Clare, Warren Park
023 9247 5276