Can I wish all who receive these notices, and thosewho read them, a very happy Christmas?I often find myself saying that Christmas is the celebration not of one, but of two births. We both celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ some 2000 years ago, and we also pray that Christ be born again, not in Bethlehem, but now in our selves. In the words of the hymn, we pray that the one whom we glimpsed through the Christmas story “be born in us today.” As that spirit of compassion, healing, justice, and
forgiveness, is allowed to become real in all our lives, a new hope can be given to the world. The birth 2000 years ago and the birth in the present day must be held together if Christmas is to be a celebration, both of joyful thanksgiving, and also of a true hope for the world. Thus it is at Christmas that we are often most aware of areas where compassion, healing, justice and forgiveness are so necessary. We live in a world of conflict, hunger and disease. We see homelessness, marginalization, neglect and unkindness. Into this world the spirit of Christ is to be born. As we are called to worship him at Christmas, so too weare called to follow him, and let his spirit be born in us today.