United Church of Canada

Aylesford Pastoral Charge

 

AYLESFORD PASTORAL CHARGE

 

 

Aylesford United Church

PO Box 180, 2414 Highway 1,

Aylesford, N.S.  B0P 1C0

aylesfordunitedchurch@gmail.com

902-847-9624

 

 

 

 

Dear Friends in Christ:

I have to confess to being a Facebook user. At this time of year many people are

posting things like “Keep Christ in Christmas” and “It’s Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays.” Those who post these slogans seem to be concerned that the Christmas they have known is somehow under threat, perhaps from newcomers to this country who do not celebrate it, perhaps from the growing number of people who have no religious affiliation.

 

If Christmas is under threat, it is not from other faiths or non-believers. We Christians

have ourselves become forgetful of just what this season is all about. Oh yes, we have the baby Jesus, lying there in his manger. We sing carols about him. We congratulate ourselves for acknowledging him when so many don’t. But we do not welcome him.

 

That is to say, we are not really open to the message of Christmas which seeks nothing less than to turn everything upside down. The question the nativity stories raise is, “Where is God to be found in this world?” The answer is, “Not in a palace, not among the great and mighty or even among the complacently comfortable, but among the homeless, the poor, the threatened, the nobodies.” The angels sing and heaven’s arches ring. The world, except a few shepherds and some foreign sages, takes no notice. This how God is born among us—to unlikely parents in an unlikely place, to face an uncertain future.

 

We need to remember this because we live at a time when loud voices, claiming to be Christian voices, are insisting that Jesus is a supporter of the agenda of the rich, the powerful and the compassionless. Here is a poem, “Refugee,” by Malcolm Guite:

 

We think of him as safe beneath the steeple,

Or cosy in a crib beside the font,

But he is with a million displaced people

On the long road of weariness and want.

For even as we sing our final carol

His family is up and on that road,

Fleeing the wrath of someone else’s quarrel,

Glancing behind and shouldering their load.

Whilst Herod rages still from his dark tower

Christ clings to Mary, fingers tightly curled,

The lambs are slaughtered by the men of power,

And death squads spread their curse across the world.

But every Herod dies, and comes alone

To stand before the Lamb upon the throne.

 

As bleak as this poem is, it ends on a note of hope. It suggests that the way things are is not the way things will always be. The suffering, the fear, the injustice will not stand. If we really want to keep Christ in Christmas, let us embrace this hope.

 

We can embrace hope by refusing to be caught up in the commercial frenzy that our

culture demands of us; we can embrace hope by listening carefully to what the Christmas story is telling us; we can embrace hope by allowing it to change the way we see ourselves and others; we can embrace hope by acting and living differently.

 

May Christ be born in us and may we be reborn.

 

(Rev.) John Moses

Advent-Christmas at AUC

December 3 First Sunday of Advent (service at 10:30 am)

December 8 &9 at 7:00 pm “Scrooge’s Tale,” a Christmas musical presented by

Aylesford United Church and Kingston United Church. Free will

offering. All proceeds to the Berwick and Kingston food banks.

(If you have not bought a ticket to the dinner on Saturday night, it

might be better to attend on Friday, since those with dinner tickets

will be seated first for the play.)

December 10 White Gift Sunday (service at 10:30 am)

December 17: Third Sunday of Advent (service at 10:30 am)

Christmas Open House at the manse, 1009 Park St., 2:00-4:00 pm.

December 24: Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve

Christmas communion at 10:30 am.

Christmas Eve service 7:00 pm.