Christmas Greetings from the Minister
Below is an example of a letter from the our minister at the Manse (the residence of a Presbyterian Minister and his family) to the congregation at Fahan Presbyterian Church.
I wonder how you would reply if you were asked what you thought constituted a “white Christmas”. Maybe you think a white Christmas means snow must fall on 25th December. Alternatively you may suggest if snow remained on the ground on Christmas Day that would fulfill the requirements. The reality is the conditions required to satisfy the criteria of a white Christmas are far easier to meet. In Great Britain there are a few locations scattered geographically throughout the country where if just one flake of snow is seen to drop from the sky then a white Christmas is declared. If one snowflake lands on the London Weather Centre in the 24 hours on 25th December then England officially has a white Christmas.
We might well say it is illogical to speak of a white Christmas in England if only one mere snowflake lands on one building in London. Sadly this year it is not just the definition of a white Christmas that is puzzling but the entire perspective of the Christmas season.
Some openly state they have no belief in God and for them Christmas is not about the baby Jesus but about family, about enjoyment, about giving and sharing. Many others claim to have faith and make reference to the birth of Jesus Christ. However, Jesus is so much on the sidelines of everything, so much left out in the rush and bustle, that it is rather like claiming to have a white Christmas without the snow. We cannot have a “Christian Christmas” without Christ!
The Christmas season centres on the coming of a Saviour who would bring hope and light to a sinful, dark and perishing world. He deserves all the honour and glory for coming to earth to rescue mankind from the judgment due to sin. He is the one who was born to die on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin. The angels declared to the shepherds … “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you.” He is the Saviour of the world and all who turn to Him can experience forgiveness, cleansing and transformation. He alone offers eternal life. I encourage you to keep Christ at the centre of your Christmas.
We look forward to special carol services as outlined on the reverse of this card and hope you will make every effort to join us as we reflect upon our Saviour’s birth and rejoice in the hope it brings.
My wife and family join me in wishing every family and member of Fahan Presbyterian Church a blessed and happy Christmas. I trust you will enter a new year confident in the faithful, unfailing love of God. If the Christ of Christmas is our Saviour and Lord we can rest secure in His loving arms and know His grace that is always sufficient for our needs.
wish you …
On R238 from Derry to Buncrana at Tooban, Burnfoot
Republic of Ireland F93 XY65