I just happened to notice the huge growth in comunity carol services.By that I don’t mean those taking place in churches but those happening outside , in shopping malls or town centre squares and they are just that carol singing usually with a cleric of some sort in attendance.At the same tme some churches report lower attendances at the traditional church based lessons and carols.Is there something we need to learn here? I’ve noticed something else, the rise of light festivals celebrating the winter solstice.Here people are invited to come and celebrate and light a community space with night lights in decorated jars”Let’s bring light to our community ” one poster said.Fifty yards away was a church celebrating Christmas with posters declaring Jesus the light of the world.Somehow there seems a mismatch between the two.No ones fault I guess but somewhere a misunderstanding about the transforming light of Christ being locked into into church services has happened alongside it being about being religious .I was sad ,for the transforming power of Christ can bring real light and life to a community.Sister Rita, a cathloic nun in Collyhurst Manchester is followed in her work with the community by a day time TV film crew.Her work with the very poorest people and her expression of the love of God for these people is bringing community cohesion, light to dark places and real change.No amount of night lights in community gardens will do that .
Have you noticed
12 Monday Dec 2016
Marion Cheel said:
It wasn’t till I got to the last paragraph of your writing that I realised what you meant by people bringing lights in different ways was not quite the way to do things. I always remember once at St J I think it was Nick Gunn saying “you can see all the lights at Christmas but miss seeing the true light of the World”. Nothing really connected with what you are saying. Then I remember at Scripture Union when I was at Senior School singing “Jesus bids us shine with a pure clear light – like a little candle burning in the night” again nothing connected with what you are saying. We must be the light and we take it hopefully into dark places – difficult places sometimes and hopefully reflect the light of Jesus in all these different places.
I agree and think there is something we need to learn …. and I believe that as well as doing the whole Christmas thing in our churches that we need to be offering to be involved in other community events so that Christ is not hidden away in the church building.
We need to do this with sensitivity and care tho …. i have seen too many cases where church leaders have given an air of ‘this is our specialism and domain’ … and I believe we need to be very servant hearted and loving … just as Christ was so that we emulate Christ as well as talk about him.
I’m back to the blog reading world and glad you are still here blogging by the way 🙂
Good to hear from you Rob.Hope all is going well for you .Please lets meet up on new year
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