Superintendent's Letter - 17th Sept 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Getting ready for Christmas ?!

We have all heard the  recent news that the German Market in Millennium square has been cancelled this year. This week sees new social restrictions introduced for an unspecified time. It is easy for people to respond with dismay and despair and say “Christmas is cancelled” for this year. What nonsense ! But what can we make of this new context for Christmas as Christian people ?

From the end of November, we will continue with our time for Advent preparations and Christmas Celebrations, along with the rest of the Christian church throughout the world. This year those preparations and celebrations will be more able to stand on their own, without being confused with the commercial jamboree that so often seems to completely override the religious festival of Christmas.

How many years have we deplored the excessive spending that others, and often ourselves as well, get in to during the run up to Christmas ? Each year we can find ourselves promising that next year  we are not going to be so ridiculous in our spending; but next year comes and we do the same again.

In the Christmas stories, Mary and Joseph are symbolic of our human vulnerability and poverty in their search for shelter and safety in an over busy town suffering from the weight of imperial and military oppression. The gift of the child is the gift of God’s love made real in such a rough and raw context.

Maybe this year we will be freed from the distractions of too many parties, and so be able to focus far more on the true meaning of Christmas rather than the fantasy fable of Father Christmas. Perhaps this year will be an unexpected evangelical opportunity to be clearer with others about what Christmas is really about for us as Christians.  And maybe now is the time to start to think about how we as churches might proclaim the Christmas message in this anticipated context of restricted social interaction. Watch out for a church wide Christmas campaign that is coming called #Godiswithus .

Please note that there will not be a weekly letter from me for the next few weeks.

Peace and Love

Robert

Rev Robert Creamer
Superintendent Minister   Leeds North and East Methodist Circuit