Hark the herald angels sing ... by Colin Such

Posted 12/2/2017 1:55:59 PM

We held our Christmas Fayre last week and although there seemed to be less people than in previous years we still made only £100 less than last year – a wonderful effort by all concerned and we thank everyone who helped both on the day and before and afterwards, all who came and everyone who spent on the stalls and refreshments all of which helped to make it such a success.

Our theme for the day was “Dickensian” and many people dressed up to add to the atmosphere. Amongst them was Jean, helping on the bric-a-brac stall. It is possible that some may not have noticed the little old lady down towards the back of church. The same might have been true on the other days of the week as she made her way to town for shopping on the bus or carried on her daily life.
Sadly, later on the day of the fayre Jean became ill and a week later passed away peacefully in hospital.

And now people realise what a big hole is left behind; for this little old lady (she might not have appreciated such a description) did so many things and touched so many lives in doing so.

Most of us will miss seeing her in her usual place in the church choir. She loved singing and rarely missed a Sunday morning or choir practice.

She used her love of singing to help others too; she was part of a small group who went from ward to ward in the hospital singing to the patients to bring a little joy and relief to those suffering the tedium of lying in bed all day.

She also loved dressing up and so for our various fayres would always create a costume appropriate for the chosen theme.

Quietly, unobtrusively, simply and gently Jean did what she could to help wherever she could and enjoyed the worship and social life of our church family of which she was very much a part.

There was much more to Jean’s life as we shall hear when we gather to celebrate her life together and her family will have a lifetime of precious memories to treasure of a wonderful lady. Jean leaves us all an example of Christian living, simply, quietly getting on with things, helping where possible and enjoying ourselves whilst doing so.

Our Christmas celebrations will be that little bit quieter this year but still we shall come to celebrate the birth of Christ. We will remember how he came in humility and love, unnoticed by most and yet would change the world for all time.

One of the carols we will sing (several times over the Christmas period) will be Hark the herald angels sing. It is a wonderful carol full of majesty and promise. It ends:
“Mild he lays his glory by,
born that man no more may die,
born to raise the sons of earth,
born to give them second birth.
Hark the herald angels sing,
Glory to the new born King.”
I, for one, as I sing it will think of Jean singing in the choir and smile at the memory. It will remind me that week by week our worship becomes part of that offered throughout the world and throughout time and itself combines with the worship of heaven, to which heavenly chorus a new voice is added.

We can sometimes feel that we don’t matter, that what we do isn’t important and that no one (including God) notices. We might say that we can’t make a difference and so we don’t need to do anything at all or that having done something nothing has changed.

The birth of Christ in Bethlehem reminds us that this is not true; we might not make the headlines but we can change lives and hearts and in doing so we change the world.
Christ comes into the world as one of the unnoticed seemingly overlooked people, and he does so to remind us all that no one is unimportant or ordinary to him for he comes to them, he comes to us, he comes to remind us that we are all special to him and that we can and do make a difference even if we don’t realise it.