Library News – December

Here it is Christmas time again. Here we are, welcoming the Christ child in the stable again. We offer Him our adoration, bring Him gifts. Sing “What shall I give him, poor as I am? …. .. Yet what I can, I give him, give my heart.”
It’s a lovely sentiment, but do we understand what we are singing? In welcoming the baby Jesus we are welcoming God. And giving Him our hearts means giving Him our lives. Which can end us up in some very tedious chores. Because giving our lives to God means serving Him. And serving Him means serving the people He loves. And the people He loves are … guess what … the poor, the lonely, the sick, the lost, the strangers.
Service to God is not glamorous or high status. It can be uncomfortable or undignified – washing peoples’ feet – ugh! Or time-consuming, or frankly irritating. Visiting a grumbling old lady not just once or twice but regularly. Being patient with a surly teenager. Giving lifts, washing up, helping at the night shelter. Working in one of the serving professions, most of which are not well-paid.
“The church,” Archbishop William Temple once said, “is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members.” We in the church are the ones who are there to serve other people, whether it be the neighbour next door, or the clients of the organisations we work in. Most of them will not be fellow Christians.
We have an excellent book in the Library that explores how our lives can be lives of service. It is “Celebrating Service: Loving and serving our neighbour” by John and Agnes Sturt. Do find it and read it. And think, as you kneel before that child in the stable, what you are offering Him.
Rosemary Smith

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