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Community and Culture

Three perspectives on what others may understand about Christmas.

1. The Church seen from the outside.

When Pope Benedict visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York he spoke of stained glass being a metaphor for the reality of the Church. He said, “From the outside, those windows are dark, heavy, even dreary. But once one enters the church, they suddenly come alive; reflecting the light passing through them, they reveal all their splendour.”

In Covid times we, Christ’s people, are more than ever his representatives in our hurting community. We may be seen as culturally irrelevant, and He may be seen likewise. But in need, people start to explore their options. Thus we pray that they will encounter Emmanuel and will discover a beautiful new perspective.


2. Advent through the eyes of a Food Bank client.

Hope: that this current need won’t be forever; that things can get brighter … that someone is listening … that people are still conscious of us and know this is not what we planned or imagined …

Peace: that we can enjoy a meal together with whomever that means these days; that at least for one day we don’t have to worry about where the next hot meal comes from. Peace, a calmness, freedom from disturbance/uncertainty …..

Joy: to see a parcel delivered with an encouraging message. The unexpected. Surprise is not a small part of joy/enjoyment. Thank you for surprising us.

Love: to know that others WANT to help us in these times. We are not alone. This delivery is not a small part of feeling loved, even if our struggle is not easily solved.

Food Bank recipient.

(Cathy Sakiyama)


3. When Michelle Pieke was in Niger she sent these thoughts to SBF a year ago. “Here there are practically no public signs that a holiday is upon us. No lights, no carols, no fat man in a red suit. Just a people living in a dark and desert land. Please continue to pray with me that the people would hear the voice calling to them in wilderness, and that they would understand that the Morning Star has made a way for us all back to our Father and Creator.”.