'Thanks, kindness and hope this Christmas'

Reverend David Currie inside Highgate United Reformed Church

David Currie offers three words for his Christmas message - Credit: Polly Hancock

The three words which immediately came to mind as I thought about what to share with regular readers of the Ham&High this Christmas were:

Thanks

It’s what we tell the kids isn’t it – remember to say thanks. "Thank you" is something we don’t say often enough, and after another challenging year with Covid let’s keep that "gratitude attitude".

Thanks to Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert and the team at Oxford for persevering through every obstacle imaginable to develop one of the effective vaccines (a brilliant Dimbleby Lecture). And thanks to all researchers and manufacturers endeavouring to make the vaccines available to the whole world.

Thanks to the National Health Service, and thanks to those community leaders and politicians who are constantly weighing up very demanding issues, making difficult decisions, and genuinely want to make a difference.

Kindness

Reflecting on the past year, and thinking more about our local communities here in the "Ham&High area" I’ve been really encouraged by how, in the middle of all this adversity, the kindness of others has come to the surface once again... strangers offering assistance to others in need – foodbanks, meals-on-wheels, community online events to help folk keep in touch, and street WhatsApp groups, etc.

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It was one of the central thrusts in the teachings of Jesus about what was important in God’s eyes, wasn’t it? Not what country you come from, not what football team you support, not what colour or sexuality you are. But if you were a good neighbour, a good Samaritan (read Luke 10:25 - 37).

Hope

And as we look forward to Christmas and the New Year of 2022, let’s hold onto hope. We can’t yet be sure whether there are even tougher challenges ahead, or what joys or sorrows the future may bring. But our hope is - there will be good neighbours, loving family members and friends to help us through. And the Christmas message is that God comes very close because he loves you.

Wishing all readers and friends a Happy Christmas and Good New Year.

David Currie is minister at Highgate United Reformed Church.

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