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The Riverside Parishes
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND IN THE DIOCESE OF DURHAM
Christmas Letter 2019
by Paul Mallett - Lay Minister
She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. We read this story of the birth of Jesus time after time and year after year and still we discover new truths about our God and our faith. Take this simple statement, ‘because there was no room for them in the inn.’ In one sense it’s just a descriptive note, but in another sense it’s a fact that when Jesus was born nobody made room.
There were many people who could have spent the night in the stable where Jesus was born. We would expect that a mother about to give birth would take priority over other people. But the point is that nobody would make room. Mary was just not important enough for people to give their room up and be inconvenienced.
You can imagine the comments directed towards the young pregnant teenager: ‘It’s her own fault’, ‘She’s brought it on herself,’ and ‘We all have to take responsibility for our own actions.’ Mary was just another example of the undeserving poor.
How do we react when we hear about the plight of the other Marys in our world today? The Christmas story challenges each of us to be different. Once again this year we have supported the ‘Link to Hope’ shoe box appeal. This is a charity which helps many people who are less fortunate than our selves. Just as Jesus takes his place alongside the rejected and the despised, the weak and the vulnerable, the Christmas challenge to us all is that we have to make room for those in need or to those whom society overlooks or despises The Christmas story is a message that Jesus is involved in our ordinary everyday lives. The Christmas message is just as important today as it ever was.
The big question is: what will our response be?
So this Christmas time let us all be inspired by the birth of our Lord and Saviour more than 2000 years ago, our Lord and Saviour who brought hope, love, joy and peace for every single one of us.
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