Christian Faith – A CelebrationFebruary 5, 2010
Christmas is well behind us now, yet the glow of its celebration in Maxwelltown West remains, writes the Rev Gordon Savage.
The piles of gifts for the Homeless brought to the service on 13th December have made a real difference to the lives of many in our community for whom Christmas was without the warmth and the joy that we take for granted. Thanks to Rachel and her team of helpers (and despite atrocious weather conditions), we had a super Family Nativity Service on 20th December. The Christmas Eve service saw, literally, hundreds of visitors join us to sing our favourite carols; while a much bigger than usual attendance on Christmas Day, including many of our young folk home for the holidays or visiting with their little ones, was a special joy.
Outside, for the first time, we had a Christmas tree whose twinkling lights sent a greeting to all who passed by; while one of our church families decorated the tree in the west transept. On Sunday 27th, we rounded off the Christmas celebration by sharing the Sacrament of Holy Communion together. To all who helped in so many ways with these events, many thanks.
Everyone celebrates Christmas … but within the Church, we are not simply celebrating a season; we are celebrating our faith in Jesus Christ, God’s precious gift to us. The celebration goes on throughout the year, in our weekly worship and, hopefully, in our daily lives also.
As a congregation, we are at our best when thinking of others, or helping others. The response to Souper Sunday, the Haiti Disaster Appeal, the Christmas Offering of £990 divided between the Bondo Project and CLIC Sargent, and the contribution of many to the Christian Aid Lent Lunches, are all examples of the generosity of Max West members. The Planning Group for the Stewardship Project have chosen the title “A Celebration of Giving” – because committed giving is part of our celebration of the faith.
As a long, cold winter moves toward spring, the Celebration continues. During Lent we celebrate more quietly, as we remember our Lord’s suffering, leading to his death on the cross; and in April we celebrate joyfully as Easter dawns.
Our church and congregation exist in order to celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my joy and privilege to lead our celebration Sunday by Sunday; it is, I trust, a joy for all of us to celebrate our faith all the year round.
Published in the Spring 2010 edition of Contact Magazine