Dear Friends,

I always enjoy being in schools in the run-up to Christmas, as there is so much going on, and nativity plays always bring a tear to my eye! 


Every few years, I focus on the saying “Jesus is the reason for the season” in December assemblies, asking the children to remember it and to tell others.  It must work, as children accost me in the street or the supermarket to recite it to me!


The Christmas story is one most people know very well.  It will be told again this year in many ways; some simple, some very imaginative and creative, in churches, schools, toddler groups, carol services, carol concerts, plays…. the list goes on.   Yes, it’s a story we know inside out.  And yet, however old we are, however many Christmases we have lived through, there is always the chance to be surprised again at some new insight, some new realisation of what it meant for the Lord of all creation to enter into history as a human, living at a particular time in a particular place. 


Take time this Advent to think about that miracle, the Word made flesh, coming to live among us.  Look at the words of familiar carols; read them to yourself slowly.  Think about such words as:  “Mild, he lays his glory by, born that man (and woman,) no more may die.”


The miracle of God’s Son, laying aside the glory of heaven, to come into our broken world as a helpless baby, God in human form, passes so many people by.  And even if the story of the Baby Jesus being born in Bethlehem is remembered, for so many that’s where it ends.  But the birth is just the beginning.  The birth was necessary if Jesus was going to be able to fulfil God’s purpose, to die on the cross and to rise again for the sins of all of us.  And before he died, he had just three years, with a group of disciples with him, to travel around, teaching, healing, casting out demons, showing us a new way to live, a way of love.  Before he gave his life on the cross, he gave various commands for us to live by:

Love one another as I have loved you.

Love your neighbour as yourself.

Go and make all nations my disciples.

Forgive one another.

Turn the other cheek.


What picture comes into your mind when someone mentions Jesus? The baby? The teacher? The Cross? The Resurrection?  Christ who promises to be with us always to the end of the age?  The whole picture is important; and it’s important, because he did it all for you, and for me, because he loves us.


I pray you and those you love will have a blessed and happy Christmas, and that in the busyness you will have time to ponder and wonder at the good news of God’s Son leaving the glory of heaven to enter our world, to bring eternal life.


Light looked down and saw darkness.

“I will go there,” said Light.

Peace looked down and saw war.

“I will go there,” said Peace.

Love looked down and saw hatred.

“I will go there,” said Love.

So he, the Lord of Light,

the Prince of Peace,

the King of Love,

came down and crept in beside us.

(Words from Wild Goose publications)


Sister Dorothy Needham