Thoughts and reflections

Category: Christmas Page 1 of 2



Christmas and so many years ago Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem. The shepherds on the hillside were the first visitors. The Magi came from the east as they followed the star. Why didn’t he appear amongst wealth and fortune like other kings?
He was born to be amongst us, to be with all people, and especially for those most in need.
And one of the best things to do this Christmas is in some way to remember and help people where life is hard.
So turn on the lights, eat the mince pies, deck the hall with bows of holly but don’t forget what it’s really about. Happy Christmas!














Christmas is Coming!

St Mary’s East Walton, West Norfolk

The last of the shopping, the final decorations, how many more lights can we have?

Watching the night skies when it has been so cold and the night skies have shimmered with stars have been amazing. Jupiter has been shining bright in the evening sky. How much brighter it would have shone on that Christmas Eve before Jesus was born as it moved towards an alignment with Saturn and the star Regulus.

A time for awe and wonder, a time to experience how large is the universe and how small our part plays, but yet for each one of us we are important to God.

Mary and Joseph would have been approaching Bethlehem so many years ago, the city would have been seen under the same sparkling sky.

Let’s journey together under the same starry skies.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Christmas – 2021!

Christmas at Ely

A time of  festivity, of giving, a time of love and laughter, of friendship and togetherness.

Twinkling lights in the midst of darkness, presents and gifts, trees brought in the house and traditions to mark this special time.

Christmas, the time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, Son of God into the world.
Christ among us.

The story of the Nativity, the journey of Mary and Joseph, the manger and the stable, the shepherds on the hillside, the wise men travelling from afar.

The brightest of stars marking the place where Jesus lay in Bethlehem.

But why did he come to us? Why didn’t he appear amongst wealth and fortune like other kings?

Read more… Christmas 

Advent 3 Sunrise

I’m going to start with the sunrise! Yesterday morning was absolutely wonderful. I was just getting up about 7.00am and looked outside to see a warm reddish pink glow on the skyline, so I said how lovely it was and continued with my usual ‘getting up’ arrangements.

By 7.30am I was outside  looking at the sky, touched by pinkness on the edge of high clouds.

All out of darkness we have light!

Read more on Advent 2021...

Advent 4 Mary and Elizabeth

The light shines in the darknessDoes this seem a particularly dark and gloomy time of year? Or is it just me?

More than ever  we need the light of the world to come among us. If He could also stop all the messages about Covid and let us reflect on what is important at Christmas, that would be wonderful too.

On the last Sunday before Advent, in our readings, Angel Gabriel visits Mary in Nazareth and following her news, Mary travels a considerable distance to see her cousin Elizabeth, also expecting her first child.

A real sign of hope when it was so needed.

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and returned home to her parents and her betrothed husband Joseph. Such courage and real strength.

This Christmas, 2020, we can still hope, we can light the candles, we can decorate the tree and know that whatever happens God loves us forever.

Read more in Sermons 2020


Rev’d Sue Martin


Shepherds, Sheep and Angels

Shepherds, Sheep and Angels,

Advent 3

Isaiah 7: 1-7
Matthew 1:18-25






Image from Christmas Journeys

Advent is the season we are well into now and looking forward to Christmas, only 12 days to go! Still time to do all those unimaginable jobs that need to be done, or if you are anything like me, still time to make the mince pies and finish the shopping.

But let’s first of all slow down the advent season and take a little time to look inwards and at our hopes and fears for the years ahead,to look outwards at a world in need of hope, both in this country and abroad and to look towards God for his direction and love.

Even in the midst of this pandemic there are signs of joy as the Advent third candle is lit.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Happy Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.

Howard Thurman 1899-1981

Happy Christmas!

Rev’d Sue Martin

Happy Christmas

And all the bells on earth shall ring

On Christmas Day

On Christmas Day

And all the bells on earth shall ring on Christmas Day

In the Morning

Happy Christmas to All

Rev’d Sue Martin



The famous journey to Bethlehem must have started about this day. Mary and Joseph travelling alone to be registered.

Our vision of Bethlehem is of the city outlined against the starry night sky.

Today many people are trapped behind the huge walls in Bethlehem that have surrounded them, and from which they are not able to get out, apart from through the guarded roadside posts Palestinians.  Both Christian and Muslim have little access to making a livelihood for themselves.

I met Mahmoud in Manger Square, and still have the embroidered phone case which his wife had made and which he was selling. He refused to take money from me as we had talked and talked! He used to work in Jerusalem as a builder but now finds no work at all trapped in Bethlehem.

Mahmoud in Bethlehem

This is still the place where we will find the Christ child, in the places where people struggle and lifes torments are most acute and long lasting.

O Little Town of Bethlehem., how still we see thee lie,

Above the deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stard go by.

Yet in the dark streets shineth, the everlasting light,

The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

Shine on in our hearts so we can see the way to help and support those living in Bethlehem today.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Advent 4 – Mary and Angel Gabriel

Love, openness and forgiveness

 Image courtesy of BBC Nativity 2010

2 Samuel 7:1 – 11, Luke 1: 26-38

What vision of Mary do you have in your mind?

What kind of picture of this young mother do you have?

Is it that serene and graceful woman, often shown much later in life that Mary actually was, gazing with love and awe at baby Jesus?

Or is it of a good looking young girl, with lots of dark hair, and full of character, wondering how, where and why she has been given this enormous and immensely special task?

Whichever way you think of Mary, maybe you can see her face in images from around the world of young people who are given responsibility above their age?

If you have chance to watch reports from Channel 4 of Aleppo you will see a young teenage boy distraught with grief who then turns to help an older woman who has lost her daughter. Harrowing, especially at this time of Christmas, when all should be well.

I keep in mind the sight of the Mary who trusted in God so much and went through a huge struggle in her world.

O Little Town of Bethlehem, be born in us tonight.

Rev’d Sue Martin

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