ST HELENS METHODIST CHURCH, HASTINGS
Minister’s Letter – December 2021
The Child in the centre
During Advent we journey together to the stable in Bethlehem. As we travel, we are reminded of God’s people who watched and waited for the coming of God’s chosen one. We remember God’s word handed down through the Bible and the Prophets. We meet with John the Baptist whose preaching and activities prepared the way for the coming of Jesus and his ministry. We encounter a young woman who was chosen to be the bearer of the child who ‘will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.’ (Luke 2:32). Yet at the stable in Bethlehem all we find is a little child.
The Christ child is at the centre of the Christmas story. God chooses to express his hope and love for the world in the new life and potential of a baby, born in difficult circumstances with many challenges ahead. The child’s helplessness and vulnerability speak to us of the great risk that God took in becoming human and living amongst us.
The shepherds who came hurrying and the wise men who journeyed more slowly all came seeking the child at the centre of the story, of the prophecies, of the future. And did they find a ruler, a priest, a king, a saviour?
Only a child in a stable, over which a star shone brightly proclaiming hope, love and peace on earth.
So often our celebration of Christmas is such that the little child is either buried under tinsel and trimmings or pushed to the corner.
As we journey through Advent and prepare ourselves for the celebrations of Christ’s birth let us ask God to help us to strip away the tinsel and the trimmings to find the story underneath, which has the child at the centre.
By placing the child at the centre, we will be able to receive afresh the message that he brings and keep it at the centre of our hearts and our lives as individuals and as a community of God’s people.
May the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas.