A Christmas Message from our President

8 December 2023

As we approach Christmas, our President, Vince McCully, offers this message:

“Christmas is here, a time to worship God and to offer up our voices in carols and prayers in thankfulness for all our blessings, for they are many. We go to our chapels and churches, places of light and comfort, we come into the light gladly. It is dark so early these days, it doesn’t seem so long ago that you could go outside after tea and “Do Stuff”. Alas now the nights are surely drawing in and it is cold and often wet, sometimes snowy. It’s so good to be ‘in-doors’ isn’t it? … Luckier still to be greeted by family and friends and to share the warmth and light with others.

It is right that we count our blessings and give thanks for them. Two thousand years ago in Palestine a certain Joseph and Mary were literally out in the cold and worried too about the imminent birth of Mary’s baby. You could say there was “nowt down for them” but fortunately they found cover, albeit humble, and at least there was warmth from the animals they shared the stable with.

Happy days indeed, and with such uncertain beginnings too. But what came to us on that day was a key to our salvation, in the form of Jesus. Jesus who would go on to teach us His ways of living. His teachings which were… are… and always will be, about Love. About love for our neighbours, men, women and children, in fact for all creation. His greatest command, after love for God, is to love our neighbour. Christmastide is the perfect time to simply do this, to get into the habit of doing this, without fear of ridicule or sarcasm or suspicion, for such is the world become. No, the simple message is to love our fellow man with joy, with commitment and with happiness at doing what pleases God.

There is much conflict in the world today, harrowing events that are shameful to humankind, needless and heartless killings, the soul-rending separation of families and untold suffering of the poor, the sick, the young and the elderly. We have the homeless with us today; there are those, often through no fault of their own, who find themselves out on the streets. It seems it’s going to get worse, with one economic disaster after another. Each one of us here today can make a difference, no matter how small the act, we can help. The best things we do, are those things not seen by others, but those things that we can share quietly with our God. It has been said that an ant with love for God in its heart has greater wealth than the richest people on earth (Guru Nanak Hymn 23). I wish all at home and those who can’t be with us a Christmastide of peace, of light and of togetherness with your God.”

Vince McCully