Well, actually… we’ve just moved from the church manse in Dunfanaghy NW Ireland to the church manse in Ballygally on the NE coast road, as I’ve been called to minister in a new parish.
There are certainly some mixed feelings. We have sadness, yes, having to say goodbye to beautiful Donegal, but there’s also excitement about new challenges in another picturesque location.
As for stress? Not a bit!
We have been truly blessed with so many kind and generous messages of goodwill and offers of help. Professional removal persons Phil, Jeff and Jay were just tremendous. Furthermore my wife is wonderfully practical and particularly gifted at telling me how to rearrange furniture to where it clearly ought to be! And the east Antrim welcome is quite overwhelming, the new house repainted and spotlessly cleaned, with WIFI all set up and the kitchen plenished with baskets of tasty goodies for our first cuppa!
A far cry from the poor couple sleeping rough in Bethlehem as her labour pains began!
That first Christmas. Uncomfortable. Unthinkable. But an experience all too real for many.
So the Saviour chose to be born not in a palatial new home with a rich welcome but as a stranger out in the cold so that everyone, from the bottom of the pile up is left in no doubt of their value in Heaven.
He shared our home at its most bleak so we could one day share His in all its glory.
‘Away in a manger, no crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head…
Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay close,
By me forever, and love me I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Your tender care,
And fit us for Heaven
To live with You, there.’