hip hip… hooray

hip hip… hooray

Dear friends,

Many cultures have their own Christmas traditions. Central Europe gave us the wonderful Christingle tradition, as well as the story of Good King Wenceslas who persevered through a harsh winter to share with those in need.

Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.

Last Sunday it was special to hear from the leaders of two projects we have been supporting this year. In the morning, Bishop Celso challenged us from Jesus’ story of the sheep and the goats, to care for “the least”. And Edmeia Williams spoke powerfully in the evening about how God became one of us so he could truly reach us and speak to us. We have also had a lovely letter of thanks from Esdrianne Cohen, from a third project we have supported, Word Made Flesh.

As Christ Church, we are drawn together from many different cultures to be one family in Christ. Our background is British – I have loved tucking into some delicious mince pies thanks to the bazar! – but our calling is international, sacrificial and multiracial.

I remember when we moved as a family to live in Canada and we were invited to a church’s carol service we were greeted with what was called The Singing Christmas Tree, and it was basically this multi-tier, gaudy green PVC scaffold filled with grinning, tinselled singers. I thought it was the tackiest thing ever. But by the end I loved the joyfulness of Canadian Christmases – and the snow!

So like Good King Wenceslas, like the magi from the east, let us learn to listen well, to serve and to see Christ in those different from us.

A couple of notices: Alex and Jane are heading back to the UK for a month’s break next week, including time with family and also visits to the churches that support them being here. Please pray for a really restful time for them. During January we will, as usual, have no mid-week meetings.

And a reminder to join us if you can at Paróquia São Paulo Apóstolo, Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno 95, Santa Teresa this Saturday 23 December at 18h for the Igreja na Rua Christmas Service.

With love,

Mark and Alex