Rev David Speirs - Web
December 2023


Revd David Speirs

Dear Friends,

As we enter the season of Advent, and look forward to Christmas, the Methodist Church is launching its ‘Out of the Ordinary’ campaign encouraging us to experience how the wonder of God’s love is revealed in the ordinary.

In Advent, we hope for Christ’s light to shine out in a dark world. Then at Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus and the love and light that he brings into our lives. All this happens in the ordinariness of life.

The Bible talks about how Jesus’ coming into the world was an act of God’s love and that Jesus was sent to us so that we might find life in him. Furthermore, when we love we are experiencing something of that loving God in us:

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.”
(1 John 4:7-9, The Bible New Revised Standard Version)

In the first century the people of Israel were suffering under the occupation of the Roman Empire. There was a desire for liberation and justice in the face of oppression; with the hope that a messiah would come to save them. Into the darkness of the night Jesus was born, not in a royal palace in Jerusalem but rather in Bethlehem where there was no room for him in the inn (Luke 2:7) Jesus birth happened in circumstances that are ordinary yet his coming into the world was an extraordinary event where God, in the incarnation, became one of us. God demonstrated his love for all people by sending Jesus to be with us to save us from sin and death. He did not become a military ruler but a servant king who lived, died, and was raised to show us how much we are loved by God and to call us to love one another.

Some religions teach us that in order to encounter the divine we must rise above everything and everyone in order to reach a higher plane of existence. Yet God in Christ, through the incarnation, shows us that the divine can be encountered and revealed in the ordinary. This Advent and Christmas season I would therefore encourage you to search for the divine presence in ordinary and everyday life. That might be when you encounter words and acts of kindness, love, and compassion or when you notice the beauty and richness of the world around you that points to the one who created and sustains it. Because it is in the ordinary things of this world we can sense the extraordinary God who is present with us and calls us to the way of love shown in Jesus.

I hope and pray that, at a time when there still is much darkness in the world, you will encounter the light of Christ this Christmas season in the ordinary and in so doing discover how much God loves you and the whole of creation.

Yours faithfully,

Revd David Speirs

Superintendent Minister
Northampton Methodist Church & Circuit.