The Rector writes:
When I was a child, we didn’t have a real Christmas tree – we couldn’t afford one. We had an artificial one from Woolworths with fold-down branches covered with tinsel. It wasn’t convincing. Every year it got folded away and hidden on top of a wardrobe; and then, the following year, it was brought into service again, always missing a few more strands, until, on its last outing (it was 1985, I think) it looked like an elaborate giant wire coat hanger that had got dressed too quickly for a party.
I hated it. And I made a vow – that, when I was older, I would have a real tree. A tree that you could smell, bushy, green, that would be able to be beautifully decorated.
The real tree that we now have at the Rectory, every year, comes from Blenheim, and is always beautiful. I love to sit, late at night, with only the tree lights on, loving its beauty, and remembering my childhood, and how this little dream of mine could come true.
I hope that you have dreams. Dreams in the sense of vision, hope, longing. Dreams of war ending in Syria, of migrants safe and welcome, of a world where truth and integrity are prized, and peace and goodwill are the norm, not just in angel’s songs, but everyday life.
The churches in Begbroke, Bladon, Shipton, Woodstock and Yarnton have dreams like this. We seek, through our worship and work, to translate them into reality. We seek to imitate the One who was born to fulfil the vision, hope, longing of a people who believed that God would fulfil his promise, and send a Messiah. He did. We love Him, and pray that, this New Year, you might discover his love too.