Letter from the Vicar – 25 December 2016

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s as we gather to welcome the Christ Child into our hearts
this Christmas. Over the weeks of Advent our prayers have been that within us the
longing for Christ’s coming might grow. In the glorious liturgies of Christmas we join
with the angels to give full rein to the joyful message that Christ has come. Indeed,
God is with us.

Children understand naturally the great excitement and expectation of Christmas.
As presents build up under the tree, family gathers and preparations are made, they
instinctively know that something amazing is about to take place. What they look for,
indeed what we all look for at Christmas, is love. The heart of Christmas is that deep
knowledge that we are loved by God, and that he sent his Son into the world to show
us that beyond doubt. The birth of Jesus in a humble stable shows us that God’s love
comes to us in vulnerability and tenderness. The first people to witness this are
humble shepherds, who are told by the angels and then come and meet Jesus for
themselves. They marvel at what they see and then tell others the good news.

As we prepare to give thanks for all God’s goodness in this Eucharist, and most
especially for God’s coming among us, may our hearts be filled with praise and
thanksgiving. As we catch sight of the baby Jesus in the manger, may our hearts skip
for joy at the knowledge that, indeed, God is with us and that hope is restored. As we
receive him in bread and wine in Communion, may we be deeply open, like those
humble shepherds, to the message of the angels, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace for those he favours.” And in the days to come, may we then find
the words to tell others the good news, “Do not be afraid, look I bring you good news
of great joy for all the people, for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour
who is the Messiah, the Lord.”

May you and your families have a very happy and holy Christmas,

Father Andrew Starky


Parish Notices

  • The parish office reopens on 10 January
  • Sunday Evening Services resume on 29 January
  • St. Michael’s Church School reopens on 30 January