Common Ground Editorial: December 2020

Kia ora,

After a full and challenging year, we’re pleased to bring you the last edition of Common Ground for 2020.

This edition focuses on the season of Christmas.  It’s commonplace for us to restrict the celebration of Christ’s incarnation to a single day—Christmas Day—perhaps with a few Christmas parties in the lead up to the 25th of December. But in the Church Year, Christmas is a season of 12 days, before we embark on the season of Epiphany. The Church, in her wisdom, recognises we need a full 12 days to celebrate the magnificence of Christ’s first advent.

To help us enter into this season well, our lead article by John Fox outlines the importance of the Christmas season for the Christian life, situating it alongside the seasons of Advent and Epiphany. Ryan Lang, in his article “Standing at the Manger,” draws on an Advent Sermon by Dietrich Bonhoeffer to reflect on the place of song in the Advent and Christmas seasons. Juanita Madden—once again!—offers us some beautiful images to ponder Christ’s humanity and divinity. And because Epiphany comes close on the heels of Christmas, Katrina Belcher shares about her experiences with this season, and offers some readings for us to take up as we ask God to refresh our lives and renew our callings going into 2021. You’ll also find an Alumni Interview with Eleanor Calder, reflecting on the challenges and joys of the year past.

The Venn Team wishes you all a blessed Christmas season. We pray that the God of peace would provide opportunities for rest and refreshment, connection with family and friends, and times for worship and prayer. 

We’ll be back in February 2021 with our first edition of Common Ground. You can also expect to listen to our latest series of Venn Presents in early January, in which Sam Bloore and Andrew Shamy take a deeper dive into the life and imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien. Until then, Meri Kirihimete!


The Venn Team