Here’s what I said before I switched on the lights in Lightmoor.
Emily Dickenson wrote the following words in a poem:
Before the ice is in the pools,
Before the skaters go,
Or any cheek at nightfall
Is tarnished by the snow,
Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me!
As we gather together today to welcome this festive season to Lightmoor it’s a chance to reflect on the wonders upon wonders that we have received individually and as a community. It’s a chance to look back over the last 12 months and give thanks for good things, remember the loved ones that aren’t with us and approach the New Year invigorated and with fresh eyes.
We think of the Christmas Story where a new family with a very special baby sheltered in the stable of an inn in a town that wasn’t their home and welcomed strangers to meet their new born child. In the same way we extend that welcome this evening to everyone gathered here: friends we know well and friends that we’re just getting to know. It is my hope and my prayer this Christmas season you’ll feel the warmest welcomes and you’ll be able to create community where ever you find yourselves. I think the lights on the Christmas trees and in houses and in streets remind you of just how welcome you are.