Called to serve God by increasing awareness of His presence and declaring His love


Mousey Moment … Wishing you a Messy Christmas!

We wish you a very Merry Christmas! Or should that be a very Messy Christmas!

December has started with some very wintry weather – snow, ice and sludge – and as I walk past the Stokesley Showground with Tip my dog, we watch the sheep huddling next to the hedges to try and get some shelter. They look decidedly dirty, damp and miserable. What a messy life – sleeping and eating in a very muddy field. It reminds me that for our farmers, this time of the year means battling against the weather and working in conditions that none of us would enjoy – mud, mess and muck!

This is Jack’s prayer for the farmers:

“We thank all Farmers as we pray

For the food we’ll eat today.

Farmers wake at crack of dawn

To milk the cows and grow the corn.

Grandad’s combine is lots of fun

But a farmer’s work is never done.


How grateful we should be that despite the messy weather, the farmers get on with their work and provide us with food now and throughout the year. How grateful we should be that we have food to eat when many in other parts of the world have little or nothing. How grateful we should be that we have enough while others rely of Food Banks for even the basics.

Beginning on Sunday 3rd December, and each Sunday during Advent, we are having a ‘Trolley Dash’ down the aisle as part of the morning service, when everyone can make a food donation for the Food Bank in the Guisborough area. One way of showing that we care for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Don’t forget … Jesus, said, “Whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you do it for me.” We must look out to the world, and serve her needs. As we prepare our hearts and minds for Advent, we must remember that we do God’s work on Earth as we take care of others in need.

What better way to say ‘Thank you’, like Jack says, than to show it by ‘thanks living’. ‘Thanks living’ is when we show our thanks by the way we live. ‘Thanks living’ is when we look at the many ways God has blessed us, and we thank him by being a blessing to others.

When we think about it, the first Christmas was really quite messy. There was no room for Jesus in the inn, so he had to be laid in an animal’s feeding trough, probably still containing bits of half-chewed food and mucky straw. The stable was probably dirty and smelly. After all, animals will be animals.

And what about the shepherds? They weren’t scrubbed clean and cute like those we see on Christmas cards. Real shepherds were grubby, greasy, smelly (they had nowhere to wash their socks) and reeking of stinky wet sheep. But they were the first people to be told about Jesus’ birth and to be invited to visit the Saviour of the world.

Christmas is messy because that’s what God intended. Mary and Joseph and the shepherds were ordinary people just like you and me. They remind us that Jesus was born for messy people just like you and me. And the sheep remind us that Jesus is God’s Messiah for the whole of our messy world. Jesus is God’s Mess-iah. He’s come to be with us in our messy world, to help us sort out the mess and to have a fresh start.

So have a very Messy Merry Christmas!