The Rev's Christmas Message


In a well-timed article, The Times reported on Christmas Eve that scientists in America are about to publish evidence that chocolate is good for you.

Apparently, chocolate-loving volunteers are being recruited by the researchers, although the article does not say what the chances are of them just piling on the pounds.

While West Ham fans can be sure that our players will not be over-indulging on Christmas Day, the rest of us can take heart from further research which shows a definite link between chocolate and the meaning of life, the universe and everything (as the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy put it).

It is claimed that scholars have found a secret code in some accounts of the nativity.

See if you can spot it:

'A girl called Mary heard a Wispa, from an angel who said that she would be the Mother of God's son.

But how could this be? She was not yet married to Joseph.

To have a baby now would be a Topic of conversation in the village.

You can imagine the neighbours and their Snickers - an unmarried mum!

Joseph also heard of God's plan, but before the baby arrived, political events overtook them - Joseph had to return to Bethlehem for the census - it was miles away - a Marathon journey down a Rocky road, but Joseph thought the Break would do her good.

When they arrived, Joseph tried to find lodgings, but Club after Club let them down - 'No room!' they all said.

Eventually they were offered a little out-house, and it was there that the little baby was born. He was named Jesus, which means Saviour.

He was laid in a manger, lined with hay, and everyone thought he was a little Poppett.

That night, some shepherds heard angels singing Tunes in the sky.

"Glory to God in the Highest", they sang.

The shepherds decided to take a break, take a Kit-Kat, from looking after the sheep.

Let's Go and see what's happening in Bethlehem.

When they were there they found the Trio, Joseph, Mary and Jesus, who was lying in a manger.

It was not at all a Nice place; smelly and dirty - not really a fit place for a maternity ward.

They were however United in their wonder, they revelled at the thought that this child was special.

Could this be just as the prophets had foretold - was this the Lion of Judah?

It was getting late - After Eight, in fact - so the shepherds returned to the hills.

Meanwhile in a far country, some wise men - real Smarties - were busily scanning the Galaxy, when they saw a star in the Milky Way.

Was it Mars? No it was a special Star-burst signalling the birth of a King.

The wise men followed the star until they reached Herod's Palace.

They were not embarrassed to Hobnob with royalty, so they told Herod their news.

Herod was very interested - "A King has been born?" - though he didn't believe them and called theM all teasers.

But just to make sure he tried to Fudge the issue by saying that he wanted to go and worship the baby and told the wise men to report to him on their way back.

The wise men travelled until the found Jesus and offered their Bounty - Gold and two other things.

Then God warned them in a dream that Herod was up to his Twix again, seeking the child's life.

So they took the Time Out to return by another route.'

That's the familiar story - the Classic tale, told at Christmas.

It has little to do with reindeer and Flakes of Crunchie snow-deep and Crisp and even, or with robins and a baby in a clean crib decorated with tinsel.

The original story was not that Nice.

Jesus was born a refugee, was a threat to some and thus in danger from the start, but Allsorts of people came to know him - shepherds and kings - not just 'religious' people.

Many people are looking for meaning and purpose - some kind of Refresher in life - a Boost in difficult times. For many of us Christmas is the ultimate Good News.

Whatever your particular path to peace (and chocolate is wonderful but it probably isn't the ultimate answer by itself) I wish you a very happy Christmas.

And if this sweet message opens the door to help you to find real meaning in your life, and real peace this Christmas, then that really will be cause for a Celebration.

Merry Christmas!

Rev Elwin Cockett

WHUFC Hon Chaplain

* The chairman, manager, directors, players and staff would also like to wish every West Ham supporter a happy Christmas with sincere thanks for continued wonderful support in 2003.