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Christmas blessings from Revd Peter Rickman
Photo by Mark Hamilton

Merry Christmas

Revd Peter Rickman —

Greetings from Revd Peter Rickman

Kia ora e te whānau

Merry Christmas 2021

I’ve written a lot of these over the last 25 years: Christmas messages in a variety of publications. I recall this year that nearly all of them began with the words: “Wow! What a year that was!” or something similar. Every year brings challenges, joy, struggle, celebration and a variety of highs and lows. This year has, as with any year since the beginning, brought with it a sense of the expected, anticipated and hoped for, alongside the unwelcome, unexpected and the feared. As the year draws to a close we naturally look forward as well as back, looking ahead to the New Year of 2022 which will be an array of all of the above.

In this space where the seasons and the calendar change, we celebrate Christmas, day and a season which will mean many different things to different people. In the celebration and chaos of seasonal feasting & partying in the sand, surf and sunshine, let us keep the essence and the spirit of Christmas close to us.

Christmas is a celebration of love, not just that of whānau but of the love that came down to us that first Christmas. The love that expressed itself to us in the form of a new baby to new parents in a vulnerable and dangerous place in time, location and history. A new life is given to unlikely and inexperienced parents who were very much alone at the time except for strange royal visitors turning up with unusual gifts and the then lowly shepherds arriving claiming special announcements from celestial heralds.

The love revealed to us through the life of Jesus is God’s gift to us and that is what we celebrate at Christmas. We celebrate love as a gift, we celebrate the gift that this love inspires us to share with others and we celebrate the others that this love leads us to spend time and celebrate life with.

Christmas or “Christ Mass: literally means thank you, Christ, we are not alone; God is with us, with us to shape us, challenge us, inspire and engage us. This is why we celebrate Christmas.

At St Paul’s Collegiate School in the Chapel of Christ the King at 10am on Christmas Day we will be holding a special community Christmas service of holy communion. You are all warmly invited and be assured that we will be holding in prayer on this Christmas day all of you, wherever you may be celebrating the joy and love that is Christmas.

Have a holy and happy Christmas and may God's richest blessings be upon you and all those who you love and carry in your hearts during 2022.

Mā te Atua e manaaki

Ngā mihi nui

Rev Peter

Revd Peter Rickman