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|Williamwood Parish Church - Message from the Manse|
It’s official, from the Scottish Bafta’s latest announcement - ‘The Angels’ Share’ is a smash hit. I think you know me well enough to know I just love Advent and Christmas. I love the whole of it- the waiting and anticipation and the celebration of those wonderful events in Bethlehem. I particularly like the Angel’s part in the whole story which might be something to do with being cast as Gabriel in my Primary 7 play. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Another thing that’s apparently official is that scientists have verified that people with a strong religious faith are healthier in body and mind, more stable, more extrovert and likely to live longer. Of course, you and I already knew that! We believe in the beginning God created us into His family; it’s where we belong; our church IS our spiritual home.
What a year we’ve had at Williamwood in 2012. We have marked and celebrated 75 years of worship and service to God and this community. As we look back, we see that God has been building a home for us all; irrespective of how we got here. Houses are built to be lived in, cared for and visited; places where family are embraced and strangers welcomed and so it is with our Church.
In our celebrations we have remembered those people who belonged to Williamwood Church and gave of their commitment, time and talents. I am only too well aware of those who currently belong to Williamwood and of the time and talents they willingly commit each week, year in and year out. In our amazing year we have celebrated with a Congregational Dinner, with a stellar Exhibition of our Church’s life and work and with a series of wonderful concerts and not forgetting the 75th Anniversary of our 128 Boys’ Brigade Company.
In this Christmas letter I, unashamedly, would like to give our Christmas Celebrations a big plug and hope, whether or not you usually come along, that this year you will make a point of coming and bringing a friend. Christmas can be a lonely time for some folk and so it’s a time for us to reach out and invite in.
So, whether it’s to see the beautifully decorated Church and watching a family light the Advent Candle each week; OR to sit and appreciate the hours of practise and dedication that go into a Williamwood Singers’ Concert; Or to hear the Scriptures speak of God’s plan for our rescue and join our Choir in the Lessons and Carols; OR to see stars being born as the Sunday School give their ALL in this year’s Nativity; please come along and invite your friends to share the JOY.
Each year I’ve particularly loved to see afresh the wee faces sitting in the straw making the manger animal noises at Carols Around The Crib and to share with you when we welcome in the celebration of the birth of Jesus at the Watchnight and also to see the fun and generosity evident when we gather informally on Christmas Day.
All of these ‘services’ have filled me with happiness and pride for many people work hard, often quietly behind the scenes, and it shows in the end result. Yet I also believe what puts a huge smile on our Lord’s face is when we bring someone new in and make them welcome.
Yes it’s been a great year for us in Williamwood Church and Christmas 2012 will be just as special as the high points so far.
And so back to the Angels. As we go into 2013 with all the unknown changes it will bring to each of us, let’s remember the message the Angel consistently gave:
“Fear not” said the angel to Zechariah
“Fear not” said the angel to Mary
“Fear not” said the angel to Joseph
“Fear not” said the angel to the shepherds.
Let us “Fear Not” as we go into the New Year in trust and in hope.
God Bless us everyone,