Kia ora All Saints whānau
This week, I (Guy) attended two Christmas events, which were joyful as we celebrated and shared food. We chatted about our most memorable present opening experience, both positive and negative, but the real beauty in it all was the fact that I got to rip out my Short-sleeved Christmas suit again for another season. Now, I will leave this to your imagination unless you are planning to attend our final Mainly Music event this Friday or come along to our Family Christmas Eve service on the 24th at 10 am, but suffice it to say it's a short sleeve jacket and shorts that look like Christmas wrapping paper! The kids at school and kindy were amazed as were the woops and cheers I got as Summer and I walked to the village for dinner Tuesday evening.
As we approach what is a phenomenal moment in history, there is something in the air. I keep leaning on the psalmist's words, "Come and see what God has done!" I imagine these are the words of Mary and Joseph as they welcome people to meet the baby Jesus, and here I stand in 2023, saying the same thing to those around me, "Come and see what God has done!"
What is it that God has done? When Israel and the world had turned their back on God, They sent Jesus to earth for us so that we might find a way back into a relationship with God the Creator.
I find myself in a bunch of community-facing conversations down in the village or around the parish; currently, people are asking, "How are you Guy?" "Good, I say, just one foot in front of the other towards Christmas." Then I have a little joking comment I make about how clergy before me have smashed themselves (and their families too at times) preparing for Christmas, I then say to them as I get towards Christmas that I can't understand why because the story tells itself, doesn't it? We all have a chuckle, and they think for a minute about how, actually, yeah, you're not wrong it does doesn't.
So as we continue to make our way through Advent as a season of preparation, pushing back against the hurry of the world, let us walk with one another and those around us, declaring, "Come and see what God has done!" because at the end of the day, the story tells itself we just have to be bold enough to tell it.
Have a look through the newsletter, particularly at the Christmas events that are coming up.
There is also a time this Wednesday when we will be streaming Ginny's parents' funeral for anyone wanting to gather to watch that; we will have the coffee machine on and tea available.
If you are around for Christmas Day and are keen to help serve, we have a few roles available to fill: intercessions and helping me serve communion. Feel free to email me here to let me know if you are keen to help serve.
Ngā mihi, Guy