Outlook 16
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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From the Rector
And is it true? And is it true? … That God was man in Palestine And lives today in Bread and Wine. Sir John Betjeman This single Truth is at the heart of Betjeman’s Christmas poem. Riddled with his fascinating and powerful insight into the ordinariness of life, this poem captures the frippery of seasonal attractions and wonders if, through the twinkle, we can catch a glimpse of what might be the truth in the Christmas story. His piercing question, quoted above, cuts through the glitter. He searches for an encounter with the story in the experience of each Christmas, wondering if in this present day and moment, there may be an answer in the lives of those of us who try to live the truth of the story, day by day, moment by moment. His question is rhetorical. For the Christian, every time the story is retold it is relived; it is brought to life. I would suggest that the truth of the story is to be found in each human heart. In a very formal way Christian people break the bread: they share the wine. In that single act of remembrance we believe the story leaps into the experience of the present moment and the child is born again in us. In part, this is the attraction of any midnight mass for many people, be they churchgoers or not. Whatever the truth is, we want it to be a part of us – somehow? In many a popular local retail outlet, the Christmas glitter was on the shelves before Remembrance Day. I turned my head. Too early and too soon. I was reactive. I was negative. Yet, in an odd kind of way, I wondered if the commercial symbols of truth could give a clue to the truth itself? Boredom is lurking. Too much money spent. And when the real day comes many will have had enough and the real truth will have been discarded into the back yard of the Inn once again. Can it be true that every year we do the same thing? – Sorry! No room! Too busy with the credit card, the tree, the lights, the turkey, and worst of all the family – all day! Perhaps there is a single paradox in the single truth. It is in order to arrest the glitter that Jesus was born into it. I saw the glitter on sale and was too negative. My reaction, ironically, was to miss the real truth. Without the glitter I cannot appreciate the false and superficial side of it all, and yet, in truth, the truth is born at the heart of all that seems to hide the truth. Stupidly, I forgot that that is the answer to Sir John’s rhetorical question! With my love and prayer for a happy Christmas. The Revd Canon Kevan McCormack