A Christmas Letter from Rev’d Jeremy Trew
The birth of any child is a special moment to those who become parents and grandparents. Yet most births go largely unnoticed. The birth of Jesus was one such unremarkable event. Even his name was a common name for a Jewish lad at the time. An older father and younger mother would not have drawn a second look. As for being born amongst the animals and laid in a manger, well “join the club”, that’s how it was for many an infant. It’s the story behind the story, and the stories that came after, that were remarkable. And, to understand those you have to look a little harder, and a little further, than the manger of Bethlehem.
Children are still being born today, mostly in unremarkable circumstances. Many – too many – share the risks that were present at a birth two thousand years ago, which means that for a great portion of humanity Covid is simply not that great a worry. The wonder of that first Christmas, and the scandal for many, is that in that child God chose to take human form. Gods aren’t meant to do that – to get down into reality and dirty their hands with the wonder and banality of human existence. Yet, in Jesus, that’s exactly what God did. That is what Christians believe and will be celebrating this December.
We enter 2021 with the uncertainties of a post-Christmas Covid rebound, the continuing wonders of Brexit, and whatever personal concerns you may have in your own lives. So I close with the words of the poet Minnie Haskins, quoted by George VI in his 1939 Christmas speech; 'I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown." And he replied, "Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.”’
Whatever 2021 brings I pray that for you it will bring the continuing unfolding of the story of God-with-us, Emmanuel.
(Jeremy is our next Team Rector who will join us in March 2021)