Audlem Saint James The Great Church

Helen's Letter

Dear Friends,

At the heart of our faith and at the heart of Christmas is Jesus - not turkey or trees or presents or even family - but Jesus.

For in this Jesus we meet God in a way nothing else can begin to match.

We can, and I do, meet God in the natural world or through the inspiring lives of families, friends and even people I've never met.

But best of all is how we meet God in Jesus.

In Jesus we see God not at distance - but among ordinary people like us.

In Jesus we meet a God who takes risks, a God who loves, a God of compassion and gentleness. At Christmas we meet, in Jesus, a God of outrageous generosity and vulnerability. In Jesus we meet a God who challenges us to rethink our faith, rethink how we look at other people, how we value other people.

And from meeting this God, who we meet at Christmas in Jesus, comes worship.

For some that will be worship in Church - but I hope not just to worship in church. For the God we meet in Jesus in an animal feeding trough is the God we can worship in a shed, in a bedroom, in a kitchen or wherever we are.

This is the God we meet in Jesus at Christmas.

And having worshipped, then celebration of God's love is the next response. We want to celebrate with family or friends, or on our own, depending on who we are.

Some will celebrate with turkey or a nut roast, some with wine and some with a perfect cup of tea, some with lots of noise and some in quiet celebration.

And we celebrate God's generosity by being as generous as we are able with gifts; gifts to family and friends, or perhaps to charities who share our generosity around the world.

At the heart of Christmas is love.

Yours Helen