Our Church

Our Church

Isfield Notes - December 2014

St. Margaret of Antioch Isfield

If you venture into the laughing fish you can now see a wonderful carving of the church done by our previous curate, The Rev'd Frank Fox-Wilson. Carved from once piece of wood it shows the views across the churchyard to the back aspect of the church - we hope you will enjoy it and thank Andy for agreeing to display for all to enjoy.

Still waiting: we have advertised nationally for a new curate without success to date - could I encourage you to join with us and pray that God will nudge a holy priest who has a heart for village life and who will come and love the people of Isfield.

Christmas Eve joint service at 10.30 p.m. at St. Michael's Little Horsted (or 11.30 p.m. at Holy Cross Uckfield)

Christmas Day Thursday December 25th 10.00 a.m. Christmas Communion with Carols

Who is Christmas for?

You often hear people say “Christmas is for children” and once the children are grown up, it becomes pointless. Having young children about does seem to make Christmas magical that is quite true! But Christmas is a really expensive time! So is Christmas for the rich? Well, if we believe the commercials on TV, Christmas won’t be complete without new clothes for all the family and enough fancy food to feed an army, possibly a new a new dining table to put the food on and a new settee to collapse into when we have eaten, and perhaps drunk, too much. Of course, we must also buy expensive presents for everyone, so that they know how much we love them. REALLY!

Perhaps Christmas is for families? People gather together with those they are close to and visit others they may not have seen for a year. Sadly, not everyone has family around and then it can be a very lonely time.

I know the answer - ‘who is Christmas for?’ It’s obvious isn’t it? Christmas is for Christians – those strange people who go to church each week. Certainly these Christians seem excited at Christmas, singing carols and talking of a baby called Jesus, who they say was the Son of God, who came down to earth as a tiny baby and grew into a man who died horribly on a cross and then came back to life.

Yes, Christians do get excited about it because it shows us how much we are loved by our God. So is that it? Christmas for those who are loved by God? Yes! And that means everyone, men, women and children. Jesus came to this world as a child and children were always special to him.

He would draw them close to him, when others would push them away. He even said we should all be like children, loving and trusting in that way special to a child as he jumps into a parent’s arms, knowing he will be safe. Yes, Christmas is for children but also for us older children, as we put our trust in God who loves us so much, whoever we are.

The Christmas story tell of some shepherds who the poorest and lowliest of people, not really worth bothering about, but they went as asked to see Jesus and were welcomed. There were also rich people, wise men, magi, who came to see him, bringing expensive gifts to the new king they had heard about.

Even though Jesus was born in poverty, they knelt down at his feet. They too were welcomed. Christmas then is for the poor and the rich. Christmas is not just for Christians, but rather it is a reminder of just how much God loves us. Christmas is a gift of love to everyone - the rich, the poor, the homeless, the prisoner, the lonely, the ‘successful’ people and those who feel they really don’t matter to anyone, it is a reminder that all of us, who ever we are, are precious to God.

The Rev'd Canon Martin Onions. Rector