The fourth week of Advent is only one day long this year; tomorrow is Christmas Eve. In the swirl of emotions that surround every holiday, Christmas, for us, stands out as the one most closely linked to personal and cultural traditions as well as religious traditions. We shan't try to convince you that we humans have an innate need for tradition; since you are reading Anglicans Online, you must be drawn in some way towards our Anglican traditions.
There is a secular Christmas song 'I'll be home for Christmas'. Nowhere in it does it mention Christ, Christianity, or religion. Yet we'll confess to knowing it, and maybe even to liking it a little. There is something quite wonderful about being home for Christmas, whatever or wherever home may be. A thousand years ago, home was a village with all of your friends and relatives. A half century ago, home was a house, flat, or apartment with a standard-issue family in it. Over the last few decades, throughout much of the world, cultural changes have broadened and diffused the concept of home.
We at Anglicans Online are glad to be home for Christmas. For us, the concept of 'home' includes not just buildings and furniture and relatives, but everyone that we love and trust and those with whom we communicate online. Anglicans Online treasures the online community of our friends and loved ones. There is no substitute for touching someone, but it's a dark world out there, and gathering your homies around you this Christmastide can workeven if you can't touch them all at once.
In the last few weeks we've been so caught up in writing our front-page letters that we've not included our usually-obligatory mention of New This Week and the News Centre. So this week we remind you that there is a nice crop of new parish web pages and a huge collection of items 'Worth Noting'. One of the stories in this week's News Centre is about recent increases in popularity of online religious sites. We are one of those, though we don't get involved in being 'like a church' or a place of worship (that's what your parish church and your congregation are for). We hope many people will use us to find places to attend Christmas services: we'll monitor our web servers to see just how many people check in to Anglicans Online on Christmas day. Last year there were thousands, and we suspect that this year there will be even more. We love having you be part of our life; practically family.
A blessed Christmas to all! We'll see you next week.
Last updated: 23 December 2001