A message from Rita Goddard, Lay Minister

Posted by Admin on 20 November 2010, 12:00 am


I write this article in the week it has been announced that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has signed up to Facebook. Facebook is a social network service and website launched in February 2004. As of July 2010 Facebook had more than 500 million active users, a number which will have increased considerably by now. Users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends and exchange messages, although I understand that we shall not be allowed to sign up as a friend of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II!

This news started me thinking about the whole subject of communication. We have so many different methods in this twenty-first century. Whether out of choice or ability not all of us will use every communication aid available. How different, though, are the ways and means of announcing news to our families and friends now to the way in which it was announced even just one hundred years ago. When we watch some of the period dramas on television we see, very often, a single sheet of paper being hand-delivered containing the news of some event which took place several days ago. Now we can immediately pick up the telephone, landline or mobile, to speak out the news as it happens.  Alternatively we can text the news or even send an e-mail from our mobile telephone whilst on the move. Some of us become a little overwhelmed by such technology and perhaps we think it might be nicer to return to the days of long ago of simple but belated messages.

The Christmas Story of the nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ was shrouded in communication. God had an enormous task in letting everyone know of the birth of His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. No mobile telephones or e-mails for Him! Firstly God wanted to communicate with his people to tell them the Good News of a Saviour who would be born. To do this he used some of his servants in their role as prophets. We are often reminded of this in Christmas Carol Services when a bible reading is taken from the prophet Isaiah in which verse six says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, … he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

How then, did God communicate His message when Christ was actually born in a rough stable in Bethlehem, surrounded by animals and without modern technology? God did it in a way which for me was far more wonderful than a page on Facebook. He used a great company of angels, humble shepherds and eastern kings known as Magi. Imagine those shepherds in a field in Bethlehem receiving the news of the Saviour’s birth not just from one angel but as the gospel of Luke tells us, “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.’ ”

I think those shepherds originally became overwhelmed not by technology, but by the amazing way in which God communicated to them the great news of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World.

Why not join us at our Christmas Services this year to hear again the greatest message ever told.

Happy Christmas and Every Blessing for the New Year.


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