In these parts Christmas Eve has delivered a seasonal frost and freezing fog creating an atmosphere that Dickens himself would heartily approve of ! Its the time of year again when the calendar nudges our thoughts in the direction of that birth so long ago in Bethlehem, the beginning of a remarkable life who would profoundly impact on every generation thereafter. As the Scripture succinctly recounts the event, “ Mary brought forth her firstborn Son…and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7) Of course that was not the whole story and Jesus grew to manhood when He went about preaching the Good News of the Kingdom , gathering a few followers who recognised His uniqueness but did not always understand His mission. That mission culminated at the cross where the sinless Lamb of God offered Himself as our substitute. The helpless babe in the manger became the suffering victim of Calvary, all to rescue you and I and a world plunged into darkness. For three days and nights Jesus’ followers were themselves in a dark and confused place as they pondered the dashing of their dream of Messiah . But while Jesus finished the work of redemption on the cross , death could not hold Him and He rose again and lives today. So as I wish all readers of the Dew a Happy Christmas , let’s remember that behind all the tinsel and religious cant there is One who loves us, who is only a prayer away and longs to become a part of our everyday lives.
Many have breezed in and out of these pages over the last year , most leaving no trace of their visit, but some brave and sturdy souls have stopped and passed comment and even left a name! To you, the brave named .… Tony, Leonardo, Antoin, Noreen, Mike, Joy, Philip, Deirdre, Lucinda, Alec, Lisa, Ralph, Trevor, Cathy, Brian Mc, Elf Girl, Kevin, Jim, Martin, Peter, Chris, Beneus, Aoife, Sundas, Madusa, Siobhan, Richard, Dominic, Kay, John, Propac, Garrett, Mandy, Pete, Joe, Rachel, Tim, Sam, Bogisha, Sarah, Doug, Therese, Julian, Matthias, Hapi, Jake, Liam, Eamon, Derek, Firieth, Harry and of course my old friend (or friends ) Anonymous ! I say a special thanks and I look forward to more of your feedback in 2010.
During the year the piece that drew most comment was the account of the arrest of a Christian couple in the UK who witnessed to a Muslim lady staying at their hotel. The lady took offence at their remarks about Islam and pressed charges (Oct 23). A review of U2’s latest album (March 1) came in at number two while a visit to Limerick New Testament Church (August 31) vied with the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal (January 12) as the third most commented on blog during the last twelve months.