Thought for the Month, December 2023 by Rev. Sharon Read

Dear Friends,

Once again this year has flown past and by the time you read this, we will be into the season of  Advent  and  the    preparations for Christmas will well and truly have begun. It feels like we have become so focus on the frazzled side of Christmas – getting the decorations up as soon as possible, frantically buying and wrapping gifts, baking cakes for school or church fairs (or the mum hack for school sprinkling lots of icing sugar on shop bought ones), dashing about to pull of the most perfect Christmas regardless of cost in  terms  of finance, energy, physical and  mental health. And  for what? The recent  M&S advert (which I didn’t see before it was edited) caused many accusations that it was attack on faith, culture, and traditions.  The situation in our country has meant that we have all had to reassess the celebrations that we hold dear to us. To be honest – I don’t what the Christmas that runs us in the ground  and  into  debt  to  pull off ‘the perfect Christmas’ whatever  that  means. I  don’t want ‘that-mas’. I want ‘this-mas’ – Christ-MASSIVE that is Trafford Centre’s Christmas campaign. I want the Christmas that prepares through advent and welcomes the Christ-child. I want ‘this-mas’ that gives our heart to a baby born, I want ‘peace-mas’ and ‘hope-mas’ and ‘helpingothers-mas’, and choosing CHRIST-massive and embracing  the  world and the joy of choosing CHRISTmas.

There are many ways we can prepare to choose CHRISTmas. Advent readings have been produced for us by the many gifted people in the  Circuit – available to us each day on:

and from the circuit office.

The advent calendar allows us to journey too through advent by opening a window each day. Across the circuit are advent courses so please check with your minister or steward to see if there is one in your church or one locally. We can choose CHRISTmas in many ways but most importantly its about accepting the Christ-child into our hearts and telling others of why we really celebrate Christmas. Perhaps you can invite someone to your church carol service, church coffee morning, or advent course. Or is there someone you keep meaning to ask round for coffee and there the opportunity to share what Christmas means to you.

May we leave behind ‘that-mas’ that is all so hectic and frazzling and embrace ‘this-mas’ the one reason for celebrating the greatest gift of Christ to the world. Lets shout it loud and make CHRIST-MASSIVE for all people as He comes as the Prince of Peace and Light to all the world.

With my love and prayers for a truly blessed Christmas and New Year.