The United Reformed Church Chesham

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December 2012 / January 2013 Newsletter

Dear Friends

At this time of year it is easy to be sucked into the whirl of shopping, preparing and planning for Christmas. Even those who avoid shopping normally are out looking for presents. Let’s pause for a moment and consider what gifts we really need and also what gifts we have to give.

As I was thinking about gifts, I heard the news that Joseph Murray had died aged 93. Probably like me you didn’t recognise the name. He carried out the world’s first successful organ transplant in 1954, when he transplanted a kidney between identical twins, so revolutionising the treatment of acute illness. After many years working to perfect transplants, in 1971 Murray resigned as head of transplant surgery at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital to concentrate on plastic surgery, and over the years he treated hundreds of children and adults with severe facial deformities. A devout Roman Catholic, Murray was a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which advises the Vatican on scientific issues. He donated his share of the Nobel Prize to Harvard Medical School and to the hospitals where he had worked. A gentleman who used his own gift of medical skill to give the gift of health and better lives to his patients.

We all have gifts of our own to give. A gift cannot be a gift unless there is someone to receive it. Jesus is a gift for us all, but he is only our gift if we are prepared to receive him. He can be our nourishment, our bread for life, our peace, our hope and our resurrection and life. He provides all that is needed for life and beyond. Great news – the greatest gift possible and free for us to receive!

As Advent starts, we say, ‘Come, Lord, Come’. Let’s really mean this and welcome Jesus not just at this Christmas time, but every moment of our lives.

With love