Christmas letter from Revd Catherine Haynes

Dear Friends,

 All I want for Christmas…

There are plenty of songs about what people long for at Christmas: My grandmother used to sing ‘All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth…;’ the more modern song goes, ‘all I want for Christmas is you!’ Friends and relations will ask us what we want for Christmas, anxious to get the present buying right. Actually what we really need to know, and this is where presents can help, is that we are known, loved and valued by those we know, love and value. This is what we want for Christmas.

But, to begin at the beginning, to go back to the source of Christmas, there is a deeper longing within us that is not only confined to this intense time of year – the longing for God to find His home here. St John tells us that, with the baby born in Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago, God has already come and ‘pitched His tent among us.’ Jesus shares our human life and death and transforms our human life and death with His risen life, so that we can know that we are known, loved and valued every day of the year.

At the present time of global anxiety, there is a need to widen our understanding of what it means for God to have come among us, and to celebrate His presence with us. We do this by recognising Jesus Christ in all our brothers and sisters without closing our hearts to anyone.

Desmond Tutu, in a time of deep fear and anxiety, said: ‘Goodness is stronger than evil, love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness, life is stronger than death.’ And we know this is true, because God ‘pitched His tent among us.’

All we want for Christmas is the love of Christ. And, when we look for it, we know that it is there for us, all year round.

Happy Christmas!