It’s almost time for the winter festival which I call “Winterval”. Winterval is a highly religious festival
with all the trimmings that celebrates excessive consumption.
Winterval features lot of wonderful traditions such as goodwill to all. It is a time for communities to come together for a short time lasting roughly between the 1st and 25th December. On this date, Winterval gives way to a season of recuperation and leftovers. Its chief characters are snowmen, reindeer, donkeys and a pleasant, white-bearded gentleman of a friendly disposition. All these things are good and have their place. My family and I will enjoy Winterval as usual.
However, I hope we’ll also find time to celebrate Christmas. Its chief characters are a tradesman, an unmarried pregnant teenager and her baby. Christians believe that this baby, who was born into scandal, mess and foreign occupation, has actually come to inspire and empower us to a brand new way of being together as a community. In this baby, God comes to be with us in every event of life and season of the soul.
In these last two years since I joined the ministry of Frodsham Methodist Church it has been my privilege to come alongside our annual “Time to Remember” service. This time of worship is particularly for those who wish to remember people who they love but have lost. We will light candles and decorate our Christmas tree with memories of those who have died. Some say that this does not sound very “Christmassy”. I am not so sure. I agree that it doesn’t sound like “Winterval”, but it does, I believe, say something about what Christmas is about. Christmas is about truth and reality.
It’s about God making God’s own self known to us and alongside us. I want to suggest that it’s Christmas and not Winterval that the world really needs. Jesus came to share in the reality of life not
some cosy and temporary pretence. If all that is true as I believe, then it’s something that’s really worth celebrating! I invite you to celebrate with us and wish you all a very happy Christmas.
Grace and peace.
Andrew M. Emison
Blog posts written by the Minister and Members of Frodsham Methodist Church.