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         Minister’s Letter                                                  December 2014




There is a story told of a man who was disappointed, who was disillusioned, who was depressed, and the coming Christmas season filled him with dread.   You see the reason he felt this way was because he wanted a good world, a peaceful world, and he wanted to be a good person. But every newspaper and television news bulletin showed him how far we were from such a reality.


One day shortly before Christmas Day, he decided to go shopping. He went to the town and wandered into a new shop - where the person behind the counter looked strangely like Jesus. Gathering up his courage he went up to the counter and asked,


"Are you Jesus?"


"Well, yes, I am," the man behind the counter answered.


"Do you work here?"


"Actually," Jesus responded, "I own the shop. You are free to wander up and down the aisles, see what it is I sell, and then make a list of what you want. When you are finished, come back here, and we'll see what we can do for you."


So, the man did just that. And what he saw thrilled him. 


There was peace on earth,

no more war,

no hunger or poverty,

peace in families,

no more drugs,


clean air.


Suddenly he knew what he wanted for Christmas, not only for himself but for his friends and family.   He began writing furiously and finally approached the counter, handing a long list to Jesus, who skimmed the paper, and then smiling at the man said, "No problem."


Reaching under the counter, Jesus grabbed some packets and laid them out on the counter.


Confused, the man asked, "What are these?"


Jesus replied: "These are seed packets. You see, this is a seed catalogue store."


Surprised the man blurted out, "You mean I don't get the finished product?"


"No," Jesus gently responded. "This is a place of dreams and visions of the future. You come and see what it looks like, and I give you the seeds – the seeds of change and hope.  Then you plant the seeds. You go home and nurture them and help them to grow and someone else reaps the benefits."


"Oh," the man said, deeply disappointed in Jesus. Then he turned around and left the shop without buying anything.


As the Christmas season approaches we can be so focused on things we want to buy for others or we want to receive as gifts, that we lose sight of the one who came into the world to make all things right.   We can also forget that he asked, and continues to ask, us to be part of his plan, to bring peace on earth. To make sure there is no more hunger or poverty; that all people live in unity; to recognise that this earth, we were given to take care of, is truly our responsibility and should not be destroyed by our greed and bad stewardship.

So take time in the midst of all your busyness to remind yourself that you belong to God and God is in control.  Make time to go come along to services, and relish the truth that God wants you to know the reality of his presence in your life, and that you are part of his plan for his world.   Make space for Christ in your life, and work in partnership with him. Share with your family what it means to be together, enjoy their love and give them yours. Encompass into your life someone who is alone this Christmas. But above all ... Remember the real story of Christmas is about the one who came to help us to reconnect with God and to make the world right.  He asks you to be part of his plan and to start planting the seeds of change and of hope.

I pray you all will have a Happy Christmas and peace-filled New Year, and I take this opportunity to use my ministerial office to accord you God’s blessing this Christmas:

“May God’s mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.”

Until the next time – The Lord, bless you and keep you.

Your Minister …  Mary Haddow.





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