CHURCH FESTIVE TIDINGS RING OUT
Messages of hope and joy
Hope is a word that has many meanings.
Often nowadays, it comes with a wistful sigh:‘When are you going to get your hip done?’...’I h-o-o-o-pe in about three months.’ ‘How are the prices for lamb this year?’...’I h-o-o-o-pe they will cover the costs.’ ‘How’s your child doing with that job application?’...‘I h-o-o-o-pe the interview went OK.’ ‘When will politicians work together and tell the truth?’...’I h-o-o-o-pe....’
Somehow that isn’t actually hope at all but it is a wish that we don’t altogether believe will be fulfilled.
In technical terms hope has a much fuller meaning, as there is in it the idea of anticipation of something to come, based on knowledge and experience of what is past. In Christian terms, God contains past, present and future and our hope is based on the reality of God’s love for us within the provision of all eternity. So our hope of the good being victorious, our hope of peace in the end, our hope in the primacy of love is based on the reality of those qualities already being present in God, an ideal for us to work towards.
So at Christmas we remember the past when a child was born and a man died out of an inextinguishable love for us, and we look to the future when that love will become real in all our hearts.
May we already be experiencing a foretaste of it, and may your Christmas celebrations be blessed.
I end with wishes from Paul to the Romans:‘May God, who is the ground of hope, fill you with all joy and peace as you lead the life of faith, until, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you overflow with hope’(Romans ch15 v13)
All the very best and blessings for Christmas.
Thursday, December 21 - 7pm, 9 Lessons and Carols, St Columba’s, Crieff.
Christmas Eve - 9.30am - Eucharist, St Serf’s, Comrie.
11.15am - Eucharist, St Columba’s, Crieff 5.30pm - Crib Service, St Fillan’s, 9.00pm - Christmas Communion, St Columba’s, Crieff Christmas Day 9.45am - Christmas Communion, St Serf’s
10am - Christmas Communion, St Fillan’s
11.15am - Christmas Communion, St Columba’s Crieff
11.30am - Christmas Communion, St Angus’s