CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: Has the Grinch stolen Christmas in Buxton?

The Rev John Hudghton, Team Rector for Buxton.
The Rev John Hudghton, Team Rector for Buxton.

I have to admit that I agree with those who are saying that it looks like the Grinch has stolen Christmas in Buxton.

We are an important ‘market’ town and the lack of lights both from the local authority and major traders is pretty abysmal.

Maybe if everyone shared a little, a lot of suffering would be alleviated and Christmas might not be as blue for so many? If you don’t know any individuals who you can help then there are plenty of local charities assisting the most needy and they need our help.

The Rev John Hudghton, Buxton Team Rector

Other small towns in the area have excellent displays, so why not ours? Some residential areas and small businesses, particularly on the High Street, have made a far greater effort so why can’t those with bigger budgets?

Everyone knows that festive displays bring in business as well as being public spirited.

Perhaps they are catering for those who will have a ‘blue’ Christmas? If you have suffered bereavement, find yourself homeless, are living in poverty or like a neighbour of mine been told there is no ambulance for your sick wife who has collapsed at home, then you might not feel in the mood for celebrations.

We are not “all in it together”, our leaders have the comfort of massive incomes and don’t have to worry about the trials that beset ordinary folk.

So Christmas for some can be a superficial experience if all that happens is a binge of gluttony, drunkenness and excessive spending attempting to mask or alleviate the woes of life. Not everyone can or wants to celebrate like this.

Alternatively the Christmas story is good news, because loving us so much, God became a human being.

Emmanuel, one of the prophetic names of Jesus means, “God with us” – yes “all in it together”.It is not just that God became human, sharing flesh and blood and genetic material. It is not even the whole business of being human with emotions, feelings and frailties.

The Jesus story tells us how he made his home in poverty and indeed “had no place to lay his head” like the homeless and the refugee at the bottom of the pile today. He knows the painful trials of life, he experienced grief and suffering. He chose to bring the good news of God’s love and forgiveness to those whom society excluded, the poor, those who lived hand to mouth, prostitutes, sinners and interestingly the sick.

Jesus brought practical help to the less fortunate of his time, he fed the hungry, healed the sick, gave meaning to those who lives were filled with drudgery and destitution and forgave those who came to him in faith. Now I like a party as much as anyone and I will exchange presents with my loved ones but to properly keep the spirit of Christmas I will give to those in need this season and offer my worship in church.

Maybe if everyone shared a little, a lot of suffering would be alleviated and Christmas might not be as blue for so many? If you don’t know any individuals who you can help then there are plenty of local charities assisting the most needy and they need our help.

Good News Family Care helping homeless women and children at Charis House, Nightstop, High Peak Food Bank and the wonderful Hummingbird Project giving direct and efficient assistance to refugees. All of these do excellent work and are run on the proverbial shoe string.

My hope is that you might come to know the God who came down to earth in human flesh and discover his love for you. I also hope that the Grinch may not steal the spirit of Christmas so that we may celebrate with festivity and generosity to others.

You will all find a warm welcome at any of our local churches as we worship God “in it together” with us.