CHURCH FES­TIVE TID­INGS RING OUT

Mes­sages of hope and joy

Strathearn Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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