Sunday Reflections-Christmas 1

       This morning began somewhat disturbingly with a call from Cousin Ron, saying that both he and his wife are very ill with flu. The dear old boy sounded terrible but had asked the caregiver to dial my number, just so he could let me know what was happening, since he had been too sick to phone on Christmas Day. I assured him of my prayers and those of my friends, and hope to hear better news next Sunday.
       A very small group came together for our Church Gathering with George and his little sister Lydia (age 2) the only children, so we made an exception and invited her to join our activities, since both John and Mike were there as helpers.

Lydia was very good and apart from my needing George to occasionally act as “interpreter” we all had a super time. Snacking on clementines and gingerbread, assembling a quite spectacular Manger Scene on the felt board, reading and talking about the light of Christ coming into the world (John 1:1-18) and making sheep and shepherd finger puppets. In our closing prayers the boys prayed for snow, but not I, being mean enough to hope the worst weather holds off until my neighbours, whose homes I’m caring for, return from their Christmas vacations!

As we are still experiencing mild and sunny weather it was a real joy to walk home from church. Not being a promoter of Sunday shopping, I rarely do any but today, walking past the stationary store, it seemed a fine opportunity to seek out a Christmas/Winter jigsaw puzzle, since the January Team Gathering theme is “Puzzles and Popcorn” and we no longer have a suitable puzzle for this season. I’m hoping to borrow a couple from Jessica’s Grandmother, but just is case, thought I should have one here, in reserve! Sadly, the selection consisted of revolting pictures of puppies and kittens wearing Santa hats and peering out of parcels and stockings, not quite what I had in mind; tomorrow I shall check out a toy store in my neighbourhood, which sells jigsaws for all ages.
      This afternoon, walking with Wil through the darkening streets, it was cheering to see twinkly lights wrapped around bushes and trees and looped on porches and doorways. Although it is unlikely that each home with such festive decorations houses a family for whom they represent John 1, I’m sure that many do, and even in the others, at this season, there is a wider expression of Peace and Love amongst neighbours. What a privilege it is to live in a country at peace, where freedom of religion is respected at a time when, in the town of Christ’s birth, tensions run high and the whole of the Mid-East still seethes with conflict.
Writing my Christmas Thank you notes, I pulled out a “Christmas Oratorio”, by W.H. Auden and close by sharing this link. It is well worth reading as we move, inexorably, towards the end of this lovely Season.
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