It’s lovely to be asked to write something for Littleport Life so I can introduce myself. My name is Madeleine, the interim Priest in Charge for St George’s. I’m here for two years to support and guide the Church. I’ve been living in Littleport for just over a year and it’s great to get more involved.
Two major events are looming on the horizon for all of us, both of which we’ve experienced before. The first was announced on Saturday. We’re entering another time of lockdown.
The second was announced thousands of years ago and has been celebrated in various ways since it first happened two millennia ago. Of course, I mean Christmas.
Many of us might be feeling some anxiety about the lockdown; worries about safety, money, job security and health can hit us all. Some of us might be relieved as lockdown gives us time to bring cases down again.
We’re probably more excited about Christmas than lockdown! I love lots about Christmas. I love food and drink and being merry. I love seeing family and friends. I love time off work when everything is done on Christmas day…
But this year, we might face some feelings of anxiety about Christmas too. Will I see my family? Can we do the usual things? How will I do my Christmas shopping? Can I afford presents?
One of my favourite books at Christmas is “How the Grinch stole Christmas” by Dr Seuss. The baddie, the Grinch, goes around stealing presents and food from the Whos who live in the village. He thinks this is the best way to stop Christmas, which he hates. When Christmas day dawns, surprise, surprise, the Whos are still celebrating Christmas, just without all the usual ‘stuff’. The Grinch realises that Christmas is more than the stuff that comes from a store.
We might see the pandemic as the Grinch, stealing our plans, stealing our gifts and even stealing our hope. But, just like in The Grinch, Christmas will come. And that’s because, at the heart of it, Christmas is about hope and love. Hope and love are what we need.
Christians believe that Jesus being born on the very first Christmas is about hope and love; hope that something new is happening, because God loves us all. Everyone can share hope and love when we offer help, when we encourage others, when we pray for other people.
Hope and love are what St George’s wants to offer this Christmas too. We’re working on plans for how we’ll do it this year so keep an eye on the website, our Facebook page or the notice boards at Church.
I’m looking forward to getting to know you in the next months. We at St George’s continue to pray that you know love and hope. Last lockdown, my family lit a candle every night and prayed that light would shine. At St George’s, we are going to commit to make this month of lockdown a month of prayer. You can pray too, by lighting a candle each evening and putting it in your front window. I’ll share with you this verse from the bible, read every Christmas.
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”