We are on the cusp of our Christmas Celebration for 2017 and we read the ancient story of Mary becoming aware that she was soon to give birth to an amazing child. A child who she would name “Jesus”.

Because of her innocence and humility, Mary could not fathom how this could be. The answer she gets is this: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow”.

This, of course, is s reference to God’s Spirit who is referred to often in the Old Testament of the Bible. God’s Spirit, for the Jewish people, was regularly manifested in the form of a cloud. The same cloud that overshadowed and led the people out of Egypt into the promised land Israel. This overshadowing presence is the symbol and sign of God’s protection of his people. It is the same sacred presence that overshadowed Mary.

Today we are invited to be aware of God’s overshadowing presence in our lives. His protection is all around us in these days leading up to Christmas 2017.

It is my wish that God’s protective shadow might touch you all and lead you to a Christmas celebration that is graced with joy, hope, peace and sacredness.

Rev Fr Tom Stevens