Good morning, I hope I find everybody well as we draw nearer to the end of the year. There are certain setbacks which have befallen us in the past few days, not least the awareness that the mutated vaccine, appears to propagate itself 70 percent faster than the original. This of course has caused considerable consternation without friends abroad, who this morning are in the process of restricting both flights, passage through the Channel Tunnel, and other means of progressing overseas. Of course, one can understand the necessity to quarantine the United Kingdom.
The culmination of the arrival of the festive season, our final departure from Europe in terms of Brexit, and the turmoil created by the pandemic, perhaps places us in an unique position in terms of challenge. However, as we approach this low point, one has to say, that the only weighs up, and we have the benefit of the vaccine to enable this to happen.
Patience rather than panic is called for!
Each individual needs to continue with common sense procedures which prevent the virus from spreading. Hands – face – space – ventilation. In short avoid direct contact with others as much as possible, and always act as if you yourself are infectious, but use the blessings of virtual contact to raise the spirits of the isolated. We as the church, as ordinary individuals, need to set an example, we must be role models in our concern for others.
Christmas is not banned, because ‘God is with us’, true Christmas is our personal celebration of this, and nothing can rob us of the meaning of that truth.
Wherever we are over the Christmas period, the true celebration, is of the arrival of Jesus the healer. That healing will take place for the whole world in the near future, and will enable once again the free mixing of all, and indeed, what is called the traditional family Christmas, to take place for many years to come, for those who would not have been with us, had we been more realistic in 2020.
As usual, with this email, I attach the service for next Sunday 27th December, at this early opportunity. The service is in the form of low level technology, so that those who have access to simple emails may receive it, and may forward it on to our other brothers and sisters whose email addresses I do not have, with minimum effort, should it be felt appropriate. Now that folk have established a routine for those to whom they forward a copy of the service, I commit the circulation to Blind Carbon Copy. The pdf contains the hymn words, largely from ‘Rejoice & Sing’, so that you may sing along, as I know you do. Some prayers and the readings for the day, from the Revised Common Lectionary, on which the URC Prayer Handbook is based, are included. Under normal circumstances, I would have been with the family in Windsor, and taking part in their worship.
May I once again remind you of the very excellent services and devotions which the URC is providing at: https://devotions.urc.org.uk/
Blessings to all, as you remain in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for all you continue to do.