There are many legends of the Birth of Christ— this Nativity—and of flowers and animals connected with that event. One of the most beautiful tells that when doves cooed a lullaby, and the ox and the ass made the air warm with their breath.
The little glow-worm felt its position keenly.There seemed nothing that it could do. But it found a tiny leaf, all shiney and green, and thought the Babe might like to see it. So slowly and carefully, it made its way with the leaf to the Child, who stretched out His hand, and touched both insect and leaf.
The glow-worm crept back to its corner, but did not know that it carried with it some of the glory of Christ, and glow-worms have had that radiance ever since. So declares one legend.
And in most of these old stories, there is an element that appeals strongly to us. For it is so true to life. We have all known men and women, very, very ordinary folk, even less than ordinary, who have yet been touched by Christ, and transfigured. Thus it was in the days of His flesh. One woman broke a vase of ointmentand annointed Him, and ever since, her simple act of love has been held as out as a memorial of Him.Another poor old lady dropped two of the smallest coins of the realm into the offering at Church all that she could afford yet, He remarked on it, and her simple action has inspired multitudes.
Ordinary women, yes, but with a great love in their hearts that made them quite extraordinary. And the astonishing truth in that old legend of the Nativity can happen again this Christmas, in your life and mine— if only we will go to meet Him, and let Him have His way with us.
And now may I wish you all, a very happy Christmas. I sincerely hope that the Festival will be for everyone, a time of happy re-union, and enjoyment.
Boxing Day used to be handout day. The Squire and his lady would hand out Christmas boxes to the villagers who served them well throughout the year.
But today Boxing Day is a Bank Holiday, and nothing more, but some people expect us all to "Squires" now— and not only on one day, but a week before and a week after Christmas very often.
Some firms give bonuses at Christmas, some food parcels, cigars, cigarettes, even cases of whisky. In a few cases it is because of a bond of friendship which impels them to this generosity; but in the majority of cases it is for nothing more than for business reasons ; as is seen from the way calendars and diaries are broadcast wholesale.
Don't misunderstand me— I make no protest about giving at Christmas time. It is a grand that for a week or so in the year, people should think of other people, and let up on their ordinary business like habits, and give for the fun of giving— so long as there is fun in giving. And how many who give think at all of what God first of all gave us?
What is maddening is so much of the tipping that everyone does— not only at Christmas time but all year round— is based not on kind-heartedness, but on fear.
Sometimes it is only fear of not doing what everyone else does; fear of losing favour with someone who vaguely may be useful sometime; and also of the consequences of not tipping.
This may be a poor thought for the Christmas Season, but I do feel that I must raise a protest— not against Christmas boxes based on personal relationships and goodwill— but against automatic tipping, fear tipping, and— let's face it— blackmail tipping. It has become now that it is not the case of the Squire tipping his subordinates, but many people hand tips out to others who should really be tipping the tippers.
On Monday evening, December 12th, we are holding a Whist Drive, in aid of our Church Repair Fund at the C. of E. School. There are eight prizes, and admission is 1/-. Do please make an effort to come along. Don't say that you don't go to Whist Drives— but come along and have a social evening with other Church people.
Our usual service of Nine Carols and Lessons this year will be on the Sunday evening before Christmas, i.e. December 18th.
OUR CHRISTMAS DRAW
The draw will take place on Monday evening, December 19th, at 7 p.m.
Christmas Day this year falls on a Sunday. There will be a celebration of the Holy Communion at midnight on Christmas Eve, and at 7 a.m. and 8a.m. on Christmas morning; Matins will be held at 10.30 and a celebration of the Holy Communion at 11.30. There will be No Evensong on Christmas Day.
SUNDAY SCHOOL PARTY
Our Christmas Party this year will be held at the C. of E. School on Tuesday, December 26th at 3.30 p.m. We hope that all our Sunday School Scholars will turn up.
December 4th and 11th, Mrs. Davies, The Vicarage. December 18th and 25th, Mrs. O'Driscoll. January 1st and 8th, Mrs. A. Edmunds, Woodside.
Oct. 19 — David John Pitcher, Hillside Estate.
Oct. 19 — Gordon James Meek, Highbury Road.
Oct. 19 — Christine Alice Meek, Highbury Road.
Nov.13 — Clive Leonard Preest, Cinderford.
Nov. 5 — Brian Patrick Moore, of Whitecroft, and Marlene Evans, of Bream.
Nov. 4 — Reginald Price, aged 54 years, of Berry Hill.
If you wish to comment on this photo or can supply names of people please click here
WANTED: Old photos, old postcards, ephemera and memories of the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. U.K.- please click here to make contact.