Nick was not
happy. It was the afternoon of the Nativity play, his first at school. He had
wanted to be Joseph, always on stage, helping Mary and holding the baby Jesus.
But instead he was the inn-keeper. All he had to do was stand in the doorway
and say one line. His moment came. Joseph knocked on the door and, right on
cue, Nick it. What do you want? He demanded. We need a bed for the night, Joseph
said. Sorry, no room. But we are tired and my wife is about the have a baby.
Nick looked at Mary and faltered a bit. The teacher held her breath. Was Nick
going to forget his lines? The prompter in the wings whispered. Go away, there
is no room here. Nick responded automatically, Go away, there is no room here.
The teacher breathed a sigh of relief. Joseph placed his arm around Mary, just
as they had practiced it, and Mary laid her head upon his shoulder. The two
of them began to slowly and sadly move away. But Nick, who was supposed to close
the door behind them, just stood there. His mouth was open and his brow creased
with concern as he watched Mary and Joseph walk away. And then his eyes unmistakably
fill with tears, and that's when the miracle happened. Don't go, Joseph! Nick
called out. Bring Mary back! And then his face filled with a bright smile. He
called out, you can have my room! The Nativity play may not have been faithfully
presented, but Nick’s response to Mary and Joseph and the Christ child
thrilled the audience and thrilled God.
I wonder what I would have done if I had been that inn-keeper on the night that God came to earth as a child, vulnerable and longing for us to recognize him and welcome him. Maybe I would have been too busy to notice that the miracle of Christmas was happening in front of my eyes. Life is too busy to take Jesus home. And even if I invited Jesus in, where would I put him? Where do I fit God in amongst the work and the hobbies and the house and the garden and the family and all the things that take up my time and energy? There is no room in my life to take Jesus home. And even if I could find the time and the room, my place would not be good enough for God - not with my doubts and fears, not with my sins and failures. I would have to redecorate and make some changes. And what if I find him an unwelcome guest? What if he talks to me of my loving and my living and whispers to me that there are different ways to be and different priorities to have? What if he asks awkward questions about my relationships and my attitudes and my prejudices? What if he asks me to share my life with him? I am not sure that I am ready for what it might mean if I invite Jesus home.
But the baby welcomed into the stable does want to come home with us this Christmas; he doesn’t want to be left in a stable or in church or in our memories. He wants to live with us, to share in all that we are and in all that we do. And whatever the state of our decoration and of our heart he wants to love us and forgive us and help us with the cleaning, the mending and the redecoration of our broken and wounded lives. He wants to spend 2017 and eternity with us. Jesus doesn’t mind that we are not yet quite ready or prepared. I mean, he was happy to be born in a stable and be laid in a manger. It is the invitation and the welcome that matters. It matters to him that the little inn keeper said, there is no room in the inn, but come in. I don’t have much to offer, but I will give you what I have. I pray for you all God’s blessings this Christmas and always.
For the details of Services this month - please see the Parish Magazine (Spotlight) link above.
Other information may be found on the “Church near You” webpage - Click Here.
And on the church noticeboards.
|Rector||Revd Maureen||Tel: 828931|
|Lay Pastoral Assistants||Mrs Liz Futter||Tel: 828485|
|Mrs Jane Goman||Tel: 827121|
|Mrs Tina Yockney||Tel: 827139|
|Mr Len Murray||Tel: 828513|
|Holy Cross Seend||Mrs Tina Yockney||Tel: 827139|
|Mrs Anne Ewing||Tel: 828557|
|Christ Church Bulkington||Mrs Liz Futter||Tel: 828485|
|Mrs Anne Saywell||Tel: 828931|
|St. Peter's Poulshot||Mrs Joyce Arnold||Tel: 828833|
|Mrs Kate Amery||-|
|Benefice Administrator||Sue Taylor||Tuesdays between 9:00 am and 12:00 midday Tel: 01225 709360.|
|Bell Ringers||Len Murray||Tel: 828513|
|Flower Arranging - Holy Cross||Margaret Coley||Tel: 828189|
|Seend Parochial Church Council Treasurer||Mrs Philippa Jackson||Tel: 828224|
|Seend Parochial Church Council Secretary||Neil Yockney||Tel: 827139|
|The bell ringers normally practise every Monday evening at 8.00pm. New ringers always welcome - just turn up.|
|Local Secretary||Anne Salter||Tel: 828502|