Dear Friends,

The events of the first Christmas were strange and wonderful.  That was the experience of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men.  For them the first coming of Jesus was disturbing and awesome.

Too many of us have lost the awe.  We tend to receive the account of the first Christmas with familiarity.  For some of us it is familiarity bordering on contempt.   Are you in need of more awe this Christmas?

The claim of Jesus, the gospel writers and letter writers of the New Testament is that the creator of the universe was born in Bethlehem that night.  Is that not awesome?

The heavenly risk assessment for Jesus’ first months must have run into several pages.  Born of an inexperienced young mother on a long journey to an overcrowded town.  With powerful enemies soon intent on killing him.  And dangerous journeys across the desert as a refugee family.  Do you not wonder at the rollercoaster ride that was Jesus’ arrival on this earth?  It is rather awesome.

Jesus’ visitors, come to worship him, range from the roughest of locals to the smoothest of foreigners.  They were all filled with awe.  Do you need more? More awe!

Jesus was born into an unfashionable northern family.  Circumstances caused his birth to be in a cattle shed.  Most people missed it even though it was the working out of a plan that had been conceived at the time of the first humans and revealed over many centuries.  We don’t need a northern accent but it helps to say it: ‘more awe?’

There are not many places in our community to find a suitable expression of this joyful awesomeness.  But church is one.

There are not many places that allow you to enjoy this kind of awe at Christmastime.  But St Luke’s church is one such place.  Why don’t you come?

Regular services at 8.30am and 10am on Sundays.  Special services on Sunday 15th, Sunday 22nd, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The first Christmas was awesome.  This time round too, let’s encourage ‘more awe’.

Yours, with festive greetings at this our first Advent and Christmas in the village,

Rob (and Jean) McLaren, vicar.