A message from the Rev’d Stephen Sutcliffe

Posted by Admin on Friday, 23rd November 2018, 21:52

Stephen Sutcliffe 230xThe Rev’d Stephen Sutcliffe

Assistant Curate

2 St Faiths Rd

Cowes.

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Tel: 01983 652506

Email: steve.alan.sutcliffe@icloud.com

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Hello friends,

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Well it seems as if I was only introducing myself to you all a few weeks ago; that was in August and here we are in December! It has been so wonderful getting to meet you all as I venture about our parishes, you are a very welcoming bunch, so let me thank you for making me feel so welcome. It’s a real privilege to work alongside you.
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Of course it is going to come as no surprise what my mind is turning towards as I write this piece… Christmas. Dare I ask how the preparations are going? Yeah I thought so, well we’ve still got a few weeks so don’t worry.
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Often when I’m having a conversation about Christmas, I hear people complain about the commercialisation of Christmas. ‘It’s so expensive nowadays, in my day we were lucky to get…’ you get my drift. Well I’ve been reflecting upon what the commercialisation of Christmas actually means. Questioning, is there a general opinion that people hold about the commercialisation of Christmas? And reflecting upon it, I think there is.
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Of course this is only my opinion so do feel free to disagree but I believe that what people are actually saying is that Christmas is just too expensive. It’s not the actual spending of money that we object to, it’s the amount, it’s the pressure that we perceive, that only the biggest present will do. It’s as if we believe that we are judged how much we love someone by how much we spend on them. Well I hope that’s not the case.
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As humans we have a desire to want to do good, we want to buy things that people like, we have an urge to ‘do the right thing’ whether that means buying a bunch of flowers for someone’s funeral or wanting to aid someone when they have fallen down for instance.
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Humans are naturally good, I believe, and have an instinctive wish to do good. Therefore, is it our lack of self-confidence, our lack of self-worth that makes us feel under pressure to be over indulgent at Christmas I wonder? Do we send out Christmas cards in the hope we get some back and therefore feel loved? Or do we send out cards because we know someone needs to feel loved. Only you know the answer.
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At Christmas, at the heart of the Christmas message, God came to us, because of his deep sense of love for us, his creation. God came to show us how to live, how to love and how to serve others. He didn’t come to see how much he was loved; he came to show us his love. Sadly, in showing us how to truly live and love he upset a lot of people, people who were using their positions to further their own agenda. But Jesus never deviated from his desire to help others and sadly he gave his life, for us, because of his love for us.
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This Christmas my true desire is that you will all have a sense of the love that God has for you. Not because of what you have done or will do, not because you have spent the most you have ever spent on Christmas, or in fact the least, not even because you are the most wonderful person that has ever lived or if you feel that you are the most loathed.
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But you are loved by God because you are his creation. He created you to live and love and to live in harmony with one another. When we live this way we naturally feel that sense of warmth, that sense of love in the fibre of our beings, that feeling is of God, it is God affirming you because you are doing what is right, what is good, what God created you to do.
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So as you prepare to journey through this reflective season of Advent and then on into Christmas, take a moment to reflect on the good that lies within you, regardless of whether you’ve bought the most expensive present or whether you have bought nothing at all. Take a moment to reflect how loved you are whether you’re spending Christmas with hundreds of people or none at all, God loves you for simply being you with all your quirkiness and all your ways. You are beloved and that for me is simply the best present anyone could ever get me, the assurance of knowing that I and you, as a child of God, are beloved.
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Let me take his opportunity on behalf of all who worship at Gurnard and Northwood Churches, to wish you and those who you love, a most blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with peace and love.

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Rev’d Steve.

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