Services

Sunday Services

8.00 Eucharist

10.00 The Parish Eucharist

10.00 Junior Church

18.30 Evening Prayer

19.00 Benediction

Weekday Eucharists

Tuesday 10.00

Wednesday 19.00

Thursday 10.00

Friday 12.30

Saturday 18.00

Contact Details
Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 3JG.
01823 354800
Facebook:  Holy Trinity Taunton
Photos
Thursday
Dec272018

Fr Julian writes...

How many of you are already Christmas-ed out?!  It seems that the last few weeks have been like water going down a plughole – the nearer it gets, the more frantic the water gets…  It’s easy to get so involved with the preparations for Christmas that we don’t leave enough time to celebrate.  Yes, we may go through all the usual forms of celebration that we mark Christmas – too much food, perhaps too much drink and usually too much expense! – but do we actually celebrate what Christmas actually is, what Christmas actually means.

Those of us who start perhaps later than others, yet keep the twelve days of Christmas, still have much to look forward to.  My wife and I keep the decorations up until Twelfth Night, and we ensure that even if it’s only a simple evening meal for the two of us, we have crackers!  You may think we are…  But keeping the 12 days is not just an act of defiance in the face of the newly-bleak environment all around, but a positive way of reinforcing the fact that (to misuse a phrase) that Christ is for life, not just for Christmas.

At Christmas we celebrate the fact that God has become one with us.  He is born as a human child, so we can know that God fully understands what it is to be human; all the joys and sorrows, the hopes and the frustrations.  But that experience wasn’t just limited to a brief appearance as the Babe of Bethlehem, but continued well into adulthood.  Don’t be tempted to put Christ away with the tinsel!  Because what Christmas actually is, is a process rather than an event.

 

What this means for us all, is that at Christmas God begins his purpose of salvation.  In the person of Christ, his birth, death and resurrection, we are reconciled and made one with God just as in Christ God is made one with us.  And when I cheekily used a secular slogan, I intended it to have a double meaning:  Christ is for life – he came that we might have life in all its fullness.  Not merely a reason for a mid-winter binge, but so that we could share the life of God, and eternal and joyous life.

 

As we face the reality of winter with all that that can mean, life can seem a little less able to be enjoyed.  We have the climax of the year with Christmas and the beginning of 2019, and we could be forgiven to think that there’s little to look forward to.  Even Easter’s late – it’ll be on 21 April!  That is, if we don’t have the knowledge and certainty of the fact that we journey on not alone, but with the loving presence of God.

Knowing that he is our midst, as we celebrate at Christmas, means that we can have confidence to carry on plodding through the dull part of the year, or perhaps a dull part of our lives.  More than that, we have hope.  And hope is not that we have a form of insurance policy against the trials of life, but the belief that whatever befalls us, we can cope with it.  More than that, walking with God, growing closer to God, can mean that when our earthly lives come to an end, as they all shall, we can come to share that fullness of life that is only possible through the birth of Christ.  That’s why I say that Christmas is a process not an event, a beginning, not an end.

As we face the year to come, with the celebration of Epiphany soon, we remember that Christmas in the Church’s seasons, effectively continues to Candlemas on February 2nd, reinforcing the idea of God’s living amongst us in our daily lives, before we start to turn to the reason why Christ was born concluding with the greatest of all hope realised in his resurrection from the dead.

My hope and prayer is that the birth of Christ marks a new beginning in the life of the world and in the life of every single one of us.  A life which is characterised by a confident hope.