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The Rector Writes – December 2012

There are all kinds of trends advertising at a very local level.

Perhaps you have seen the signs for housing developments that appeal to weary commuters: “If you lived here, you would be home by now.”

There are other signs which now tell us we have already missed something. Have you noticed them?

You’re driving along and you see a sign saying – “You have just passed… whatever.” It’s quite a creative advertising tool, and as long as you can make a safe turn within a reasonably short distance you can make your way back again.

The thing about signs is that we need to recognise what they are telling us so that we can take action, and often, without delay.

I am writing this on the eve of the parish’s Christmas Tree Festival. I have never been to a Christmas Tree festival before; I doubt many of us have. What I do know is the incredible amount of work that has gone in behind the scenes. That work is now being revealed as the Church in Magheralin becomes increasingly forested, and it looks incredible.

However, the key thing is that we see beyond these sign posts to what they signify. This festival is not an exercise in extreme church makeovers – or a new fad in interior decorating.

Each of the trees has a message to share – and each of those messages adds up to the great message of God’s rescue plan.

Let’s not miss the wood for the trees. Let’s realise what incredibly good news this is for all of us.

Scripture was full of people looking for or interpreting signs. Think of people like the shepherds and wise men whose stories have been immortalised for us in God’s word for the very reason that they saw and responded to God’s signs.

“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”…..

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Luke 2:12-15

My prayer is that you will recognise and know the peace and joy of Christ this Christmas and into the New Year 2013.

Yours in Christ,