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As you travel round the parish to visit friends or family or perhaps The Avenue for some shopping, you will see that many people have begun decorating houses and shops with Christmas Trees and decorations, and the TV is now awash with adverts trying to tempt us into buying this year’s must have gift.

The funny thing about these “must have gifts” is that next year it will be a different gift we are tempted into buying, and the following year yet another one. When we think about it then, if these gifts are so important to us living a happy and contented life, why do they keep changing? Does contentment and happiness only last a year? Well it does if you follow what the advertisers would have us believe.

As you read this we will be well into Advent, which is traditionally a period of reflection as we prepare for the coming of Jesus, similar to how Lent prepares us for Easter. And yet for the majority of people, this time of spiritual preparation seems to have got lost in amongst the tinsel and decorations and ‘bargains’ of Black Friday.

Now please don’t think I am against the decorations and fun surrounding Christmas, on the contrary I love Christmas. But it is when the true message of Christmas gets lost in all the commercialism and consumerism that seems to consume people at this time of year more than any other that I feel sad.

So, this year, as we prepare for another Christmas, please take some time out from your busy schedules to set aside some time to remember the best gifts of all that we can share and give to one another this Christmas. The “must have” gifts that never change, never lose their impact, never lose their relevance to each of us. The gifts of hope, peace, joy and love, all of which came with the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you, your families and those whom you love, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and I hope and pray that your 2019 will be filled with God’s grace, peace, mercy and love.

Merry Christmas everyone

Rev Stuart Crawford

Contact details:
Tel No: 0141 239 2140

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Newton Mearns Parish Church of Scotland
242 Ayr Road, Newton Mearns, Glasgow G77 6AA
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