Dumbarton Church Street with Riverside Parish Church, the Burgh Hall and Sheriff Court. Top a view of Dumbarton from Maryland looking towards Carman Hill.
Pictures by Bill Heaney
No one can cancel Christmas
When politicians and headline writers start waxing lyrical about whether or not to curb the planned relaxation of Covid restrictions later this month, there is often talk of ‘cancelling Christmas’. You may be able to close pubs, restaurants and hotels, prevent people going abroad on holiday, stop all live concerts, plays and performances, you may even tell families and friends not to meet up (whether you can actually prevent that happening is another question), but you can’t ‘cancel’ Christmas – because it has already happened. Two thousand and something years ago Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the time of Herod the King. You can’t cancel that. We may not be able to gather and celebrate it in the way we have been used to doing, but those for whom Jesus is special can celebrate his living presence with us, wherever we are and whatever the circumstances. Lord, thank you for Christmas, the birth of Jesus long ago, God experiencing human life ‘from the inside’. Thank you too that it isn’t just a story from long ago, but he is with us now. The Rev Ian Johnson, Riverside Parish Church in Dumbarton.