Monthly Archives: December 2013

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You are not a loan….

image

 

 

You are not a loan

For many Christmas is the best time of the year – the parties, the presents, the family get togethers. Shopping for others, shopping for ourselves, a sneaky mince pie and a quick drink. For a lot of people it is, “the most wonderful time of the year.”

But not for everyone –

For some it’s a struggle just to keep going. They can’t afford to pay what they owe and the pressure to buy more stuff is so great things can get, literally, depressing. Wherever we turn there is a constant torrent of adverts and reminders of what to give, and if we don’t know what to give there are always gift cards (“the best way to say ‘I have to buy you a gift but have no imagination'”, as I read the other day). Christmas is so much about ‘stuff’ – What to give, what to get, what to eat, what to buy, what to wear – constant reminders that if you can’t spend thousands of dollars on presents, clothes and food you ‘aren’t good enough’ and have failed in the eyes of society. We may know that’s crap but not everyone does and to many who cannot even afford food on a ‘normal’ day Christmas is a terrible time.

For others who have lost a loved one, or who don’t know where their loved ones are, Christmas can be the loneliest time of the year. With the barrage of ‘family’ images that surround us at this time there are many who are reminded that they don’t have any. There are many who will have empty seats around the Christmas table.

Yet others will find that Christmas is a time to be with those who are suffering – in homes and hospitals, in aged care facilities and palliative care units there are many who will try to celebrate Christmas by sitting at the bedside of a loved one. Some have the hope of healing, for others it is another day of waiting and watching.

Others will have to spend the holiday hiding behind a false face of happiness. Smiling as those who abuse them (physically, emotionally or spiritually) show one face to the world and hide the ‘real’ them and wait for their next chance to show how ‘powerful’ they are. Or others who show the perfect household to the family as their relationship crumbles around them; waiting for the in-laws to leave and the fighting to re-start.

Not everyone will have a Happy Christmas. The pressure to celebrate the commercial idea of Christmas is so constant and so great that it seems that if we don’t have that ‘Woman’s weekly’ idea of an ideal Christmas we are freaks, outcast, social failures.

It is such a change from that first Christmas Day – a day when the freaks, outcast and social failures were at the very centre of things. A homeless family; an unwed mother; the outcast shepherds welcomed to the celebrations; pagan travellers; God is with us; the birth of love.

As you celebrate this Christmas give a thought to those who don’t.

God bless you all this Christmas time, whatever your situation.


  • 0

You are not a loan….

 

You are not a loan

For many Christmas is the best time of the year – the parties, the presents, the family get togethers. Shopping for others, shopping for ourselves, a sneaky mince pie and a quick drink. For a lot of people it is, “the most wonderful time of the year.”

But not for everyone –

For some it’s a struggle just to keep going. They can’t afford to pay what they owe and the pressure to buy more stuff is so great things can get, literally, depressing. Wherever we turn there is a constant torrent of adverts and reminders of what to give, and if we don’t know what to give there are always gift cards (“the best way to say ‘I have to buy you a gift but have no imagination'”, as I read the other day). Christmas is so much about ‘stuff’ – What to give, what to get, what to eat, what to buy, what to wear – constant reminders that if you can’t spend thousands of dollars on presents, clothes and food you ‘aren’t good enough’ and have failed in the eyes of society. We may know that’s crap but not everyone does and to many who cannot even afford food on a ‘normal’ day Christmas is a terrible time.

For others who have lost a loved one, or who don’t know where their loved ones are, Christmas can be the loneliest time of the year. With the barrage of ‘family’ images that surround us at this time there are many who are reminded that they don’t have any. There are many who will have empty seats around the Christmas table.

Yet others will find that Christmas is a time to be with those who are suffering – in homes and hospitals, in aged care facilities and palliative care units there are many who will try to celebrate Christmas by sitting at the bedside of a loved one. Some have the hope of healing, for others it is another day of waiting and watching.

Others will have to spend the holiday hiding behind a false face of happiness. Smiling as those who abuse them (physically, emotionally or spiritually) show one face to the world and hide the ‘real’ them and wait for their next chance to show how ‘powerful’ they are. Or others who show the perfect household to the family as their relationship crumbles around them; waiting for the in-laws to leave and the fighting to re-start.

Not everyone will have a Happy Christmas. The pressure to celebrate the commercial idea of Christmas is so constant and so great that it seems that if we don’t have that ‘Woman’s weekly’ idea of an ideal Christmas we are freaks, outcast, social failures.

It is such a change from that first Christmas Day – a day when the freaks, outcast and social failures were at the very centre of things. A homeless family; an unwed mother; the outcast shepherds welcomed to the celebrations; pagan travellers; God is with us; the birth of love.

As you celebrate this Christmas give a thought to those who don’t.

God bless you all this Christmas time, whatever your situation.


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What are you waiting for?

 

 

photo

And so begins our Advent journey – waiting for a homeless, refugee child, born to an unwed teenage mother, in a stinky barn and then to call him Lord.

Christianity is a ridiculous idea – forgiveness, grace, mercy, love and all this to ALL people – doesn’t God have any standards?

Have you seen some of these people? I mean, single mothers, teenagers, factory workers, long haired lay – abouts, refugees, homeless persons, people who want to change things, general do-gooders with no idea of history or tradition. Church isn’t about changing things, it’s about doing it the same time way year in and year out – like Jesus did!

If you agree with the above statement I wouldn’t recommend reading any more – trust me, from here on in it will not get any better for you.

 

Last warning! No more!

 

Right, let’s get one thing straight – Church IS about change, well being perfectly correct, Christianity is all about change – a change in us, a change in what we do and how we think and by extension then a change in the church. This happens when the shattering person who is Jesus influences us. He shatters our view of ourselves, of the world, of the church and of those around us. He has done it for 2000 years, he ain’t gonna stop now!!

Look at the Christmas story as a beginning. It sets the tone for everything else that follows – and blows all the tradition views right out of the window.

Firstly a woman is at the centre of the story – in 1st century Israel that didn’t happen.

She is pregnant – with no husband – scandal time.

Her baby is born in a stinky barn – not the conventional place for a birth and of a king, unusual would be an understatement.

Choirs of angels appear to announce this birth – but they don’t go to the synagogues or palaces they must have got lost and end up with humble shepherds who are washing their sock on a hillside.

Oh, important people come to see this baby – but not local religious leaders, not the mayor of Bethlehem or the like – but pagan stargazers, strangers from a distant land. It takes foreigners to show his own people what is in front of their eyes.

Oh I don’t think we can say that Jesus doesn’t bring about change. From the start all he did was challenge and change things – perceptions, closed minds, ways of thinking, lives – lives like mine and yours.

So, are you ready for an ADVENTure? Are you ready to see what his radical has in store for you? This advent take a look at the story of Christmas again and see behind the manger to the Child who has, and is and will change the world again.

 

 

Since starting this blog Nelson Mandela has passed away – a man who lived the challenge, changed the world and is an inspiration to us all.

I saw a lovely tweet the other day from God’s twitter account. “Jesus and Nelson getting on well, after all they both like rugby!” Madiba will be missed.

 

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  • 0

What are you waiting for?

And so begins our Advent journey – waiting for a homeless, refugee child, born to an unwed teenage mother, in a stinky barn and then to call him Lord.

Christianity is a ridiculous idea – forgiveness, grace, mercy, love and all this to ALL people – doesn’t God have any standards?

Have you seen some of these people? I mean, single mothers, teenagers, factory workers, long haired lay – abouts, refugees, homeless persons, people who want to change things, general do-gooders with no idea of history or tradition. Church isn’t about changing things, it’s about doing it the same time way year in and year out – like Jesus did!

If you agree with the above statement I wouldn’t recommend reading any more – trust me, from here on in it will not get any better for you.

 

Last warning! No more!

 

Right, let’s get one thing straight – Church IS about change, well being perfectly correct, Christianity is all about change – a change in us, a change in what we do and how we think and by extension then a change in the church. This happens when the shattering person who is Jesus influences us. He shatters our view of ourselves, of the world, of the church and of those around us. He has done it for 2000 years, he ain’t gonna stop now!!

Look at the Christmas story as a beginning. It sets the tone for everything else that follows – and blows all the tradition views right out of the window.

Firstly a woman is at the centre of the story – in 1st century Israel that didn’t happen.

She is pregnant – with no husband – scandal time.

Her baby is born in a stinky barn – not the conventional place for a birth and of a king, unusual would be an understatement.

Choirs of angels appear to announce this birth – but they don’t go to the synagogues or palaces they must have got lost and end up with humble shepherds who are washing their sock on a hillside.

Oh, important people come to see this baby – but not local religious leaders, not the mayor of Bethlehem or the like – but pagan stargazers, strangers from a distant land. It takes foreigners to show his own people what is in front of their eyes.

Oh I don’t think we can say that Jesus doesn’t bring about change. From the start all he did was challenge and change things – perceptions, closed minds, ways of thinking, lives – lives like mine and yours.

So, are you ready for an ADVENTure? Are you ready to see what his radical has in store for you? This advent take a look at the story of Christmas again and see behind the manger to the Child who has, and is and will change the world again.

 

 

Since starting this blog Nelson Mandela has passed away – a man who lived the challenge, changed the world and is an inspiration to us all.

I saw a lovely tweet the other day from God’s twitter account. “Jesus and Nelson getting on well, after all they both like rugby!” Madiba will be missed.

 


Upcoming Events

Dec
23
Sun
11:00 am NATIVITY SERVICE
NATIVITY SERVICE
Dec 23 @ 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
FOLLOWED BY A VISIT FROM SANTA AND A CHRISTMAS LUNCH
Jan
27
Sun
10:00 am CHURCH PICNIC
CHURCH PICNIC
Jan 27 @ 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
 
Mar
3
Sun
3:00 pm 2019 St. David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
2019 St. David’s Day Gymanfa Ganu
Mar 3 @ 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm
A wonderful afternoon of traditional hymns and music held at St. Michael’s U.C. on the corner of Collins and Russell Streets. Features the Blue Ribbon winner from the 2018 National Eisteddfod of Wales, Andrew P.