Light, love and contrasts at Christmas

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IT IS my very great pleasure to offer you the greetings and good wishes of the Presbytery of Glasgow.

Walking round the city as we approach Christmas I am struck by the contrasts to be seen on the streets. In one corner the Christmas market with its tempting scents of spice drawing you in speaking of warmth and pleasure.

On the other side people plodding through puddles, heads down, carrying heavy loads and hurrying to get on.

On one hand shops full of light and warmth whilst outside the door someone is sitting cardboard cup in hand, wrapped in a blanket with a shivering dog at their side. The festive season brings different things to different people, ranging from the anticipation of the holiday and days filled with good things to the experience of the newly bereaved facing a special time without their special one.

It brings to some celebration and plenty and for others another day to survive on very little. We live in a difficult and ill divided world.

The world that Jesus was born into on the first Christmas was also a world of contrasts. It was a world full of uncertainties and unfairness, a world where the strong reigned and the poor struggled.

One of the gospels talks of Jesus coming into the world as light that shines in the darkness. Light which shines in the darkness and the darkness is never able to put it out.

That light came from God all those years ago and shines for us still in the darkness we experience.

May you know that light, hope and peace this festive season and through 2012