Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Saturday, 1 January 2011

Is the Christmas story true?
With a ferocious winter kick-back the old year is drawing to a close. I can remember the harsh 1963 winter when my five brothers and I discovered a dead heron frozen in the brook at the bottom of our farm. We have speculated ever since whether it was just standing in the water fishing and did not notice the ice setting in, a lesson for all of us! This year is shaping up to be just as chilling.

Politics has become interesting again, with the first coalition government in sixty years and a sense that a polarisation is taking place. The general election was only seven months ago, but it seems much longer ago than that.  With the challenging spending reductions, the radical reshaping of public services and Coalition stresses and strains, we are in for some roller-coaster years! I would not want to be anywhere else.

But Christmas is a time for most of us to pull up the drawbridge for a few days and retreat into our families, no matter what shape or size. I am enjoying the thrill of our two grandsons about Christmas and the weather. We had a monster snow ball fight on Sunday afternoon after which I had to sit down for half an hour. I don't remember having to do that after playing with my own children, anno domino is taking its toll.

It is also a time for reflection. What is life all about? What is its true meaning?

In my job, there is no escaping the narrative of the nativity. And even though Jan and I get through quite a few Carol Services each year we never tire of hearing about the unfolding drama. When you think about it, it is an absurd story: the creator of the universe choosing to intervene in human history to demonstrate his love and to produce a Saviour. Instead of a palace he came to a humble family in a backward land and was born in a manger in a stable.  The Christmas story is counter-intuitive, the very opposite of what you would expect. So it continued throughout the life and teachings of Jesus and then his ultimate sacrifice. This is a good time of year to ask ourselves: is it true? Each one must decide.

I recognise that it has been a tough year for many people.  Jan and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

posted by Gary @ 08:43