St Mary’s Church Coddenham

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From the Rectory – Christmas Light

by | Dec 14, 2023 | Coddenham Church

stable scene

The rain had stopped, for the moment at least, but it remained a dark night; no stars or moonlight reached through the cloud.

As she drove carefully along the country lanes, her headlights picked out flood waters at almost every turn.  It had been a difficult journey but she was nearing the end.  Soon she should reach the place she was searching for.  This should be her last delivery.  Then, she would be able to relax.

At last, out of the gloom, the headlights picked up a reflector on the fence post.   As she slowed, a name board was just visible through her misty windows.  This must be the place.  Breathing more gently she turned into the drive; the wheels scrunching on the gravel.  Thank goodness for satnavs; how had those early travellers ever managed when all they had to guide them was starlight?  Starlight may be great on a clear evening; not much help in a storm.  Was it really so surprising they had ended at the Palace instead of this small country cottage, miles from the main road; miles from anywhere?  Who chooses to live in so remote a place anyway?

Later, she thought back to that last stop.  The young couple had been so friendly.  A simple supper before the drive home.  The fresh-baked bread was delightful and a cuppa more welcome than a seasonal sherry.   And there was a special something about their new baby; so small, so vulnerable yet so peaceful.  He truly lit up the old house.

Leaving this little family and turning for home, she noticed that the clouds had lifted slightly and the road was bathed in a gentle, almost supernatural golden light.  Just as well, she thought, as the satnav gave up miles back.  Now she knew how wise travellers had found their way in years gone by.   A young woman had born a child; Emmanuel, God with us (Is 7:14).  That child was the light of the world, a light no darkness can ever extinguish (John 1:4,5); however heavy the storm, that child still is.

In a few days it will be Christmas.  Once again we will celebrate a truly remarkable event.  Knowing that humankind (you and I) are unable to come to him; God came to us and chose an ordinary young woman to be his mother.  He still comes in the same way today, for all who do the will of his father are his mother, brother and sister (Matt 12:49).  This Christmas time, will you see him in your neighbour?  Will your neighbour meet him in you?

A happy and blessed Christmas to you.

Rev Philip Payne                                                                  Christmas 2023                       The Notice Sheet for 17th December can be found here


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