From the November Grapevine

 From this month's Grapevine,

 our parish magazine.

Copies available (50p) at the back of church or why not have it delivered every month?

See Susan Warrington or contact the church office.

A letter from Canon Rob McLaren

The Christmas Storytrail has given us extra impetus to invite our acquaintances to the many special church services this year.

One thousand children from Poynton Primary Schools have been to St. George's for an hour each. All sorts of people have helped to make it happen. Thank you to all who have worked so hard and to Peter and Julie Fraser who were keen to continue the work, despite Peter's treatment for serious Illness.

The Christmas story is being marginalised or being retold as "fake news" in so many places In Western-dominated culture. So it is helpful to have a time and place where our younger generation can hear the larger part of the original account of the events of the first Christmas.

It was Easter which changed the world but it is Christmas which opens our eyes first to the amazing ways of God:

For ONE, God does not send his King to a palace, but to a stable. The wise men looked for God's King in the palace in the big city, but God took them to a much humbler place in a little town. The Wise Men were starry-eyed and stirred. What was God doing?

For TWO, God does not announce his King to the religious movers and shakers, but to the people on the edge of society and the travellers from abroad. The shepherds were so delighted to get the big invitation, and stunned. What was God doing?

For THREE, God did not send his King to a safe and comfortable environment, but to a part of the world in violent upheaval. Within a year or two of his birth, Jesus was the target of a cruel assassination attempt by the national authorities. What was God doing?

Three things God was doing: ONE, showing us that he is ready to make himself vulnerable in order to make a good friendship with each of us. Friendships thrive when we make ourselves vulnerable and humbly reach out in order to receive the same back. The Lord wants a true friendship and he showed it from the start.

Three things God was doing: TWO, showing us that the ones who often take notice of his invitation are the unlikely ones. Like today, when the Bible Society tells us that the biggest growth In demand for Bibles is in China, Africa and the Middle East. The Lord does not stick with predictable targets; he reaches out far and wide on purpose.

Three things God is doing: THREE, showing us that he knows what this world is like. The atrocities in Syria and Nigeria are sadly not a surprise to God.

This is why he sent the Saviour to a place of violence against the innocents, and saw his only-begotten Son become a child refugee, and trained him in a life described as never having his own place to lay his head. The Saviour came knowing the true extent of the sinfulness of

this world. He was ready to offer salvation from sin, having experienced the worst of its results.

God is not soft. He is as hard as nails: the nails which held him to a cross for the several hours it took him to die for our salvation. But God's heart is soft and he did what he did at the first Christmas and Easter in order to soften your heart.

Are you hardened by our cynical world? And would you like to be a soft -hearted human being through the humble initiative of God? Come and make a new start at one of our special Christmas services, and follow it up in the New Year. We'd love to see you.

Happy Christmas and a good new year to you.

Rob and Jean