If you haven’t heard a child say “come and see – look at what I’ve discovered!” – perhaps you’ll recall saying this when you were a child. Something happened and you couldn’t keep it to yourself; you wanted someone else to be a part of your life. We invite our spouse, colleague, friend, person we trust to see what we’ve accomplished even now – and want in turn to celebrate and see their moments too. These moments of epiphany: Jesus likewise invites us into a relationship with him – to come and see.
We all need the basics; for the Samaritan woman it was water – but Jesus knew her real needs, beyond the drink of water. No doubt we have complicated histories, which have affected our lives and none of us have had smooth journeys to reach the point where we are now – but the comfort we take from Jesus conversation with the Samaritan woman is that Jesus knows our true needs, and can deliver these to us.
Do we always notice what’s going on in the Christmas story? Gold is precious and lasts – symbolic of something important. Francincense produces a strong, powerful scent and it’s smoke is symbolic of our prayers, rising to God in Heaven. Our longings, sorrows, hopes and joys – breathed in by God to recognise our need. Myrrh, almost antiseptic – reminding us of our need for healing and God’s power to fix us. The epiphany; how would we greet his new birth if it occurred today?
What is the best Christmas sweet? Rachel’s vote goes to the chocolate orange – at this time of year, the church often uses oranges to symbolise Jesus. How can unpacking a chocolate orange remind us of the good news Jesus brings – despite the need to break to be made whole?
Is Christmas just for the children? It’s fair to say that children are a focus for the season – but it’s certainly not, if we mean it’s something we grow out of as we get older. Rather, we should grow into Christmas – there’s so much more to Christ, than the story of a birth. Jesus is the light of the world – Christmas is so much more when we follow Christ, as we are pulled from the darkness to live in the light.
One for the children – and young at heart – our Crib and Christingle service on the 24th December started our final Christmas countdown. Rachel explains how the story of Jesus birth can be explained through crisps …much to the entertainment of all!
Our service for the fouth Sunday of Advent, as we focus on Mary – mother of Christ and the promise we have in a new life at Christmas. What would you wish for a new child: what would you want to protect them from experiencing? Our thanks also for the gift to the church from Phillip and Frances – a twinned toilet – and for eighteen years service, preparing the altar for communion services, Freida who passes the torch to another.
Our minds are looking towards the big day – when we celebrate Christ’s arrival, at his birth in Bethlehem. What a celebration; so why, when reading our old testament reading this evening, I wonder who decided to be the buzz kill with Isiah and his description of Woes and Judgements as we’re gearing up to the excitement of the season? But at a time of reflection – it’s more important than ever we focus on if we’re ready to receive Jesus.
Blind from birth; never to see a sunrise, a smile. He was a life waiting to be born: today, he became a new creation – a living testimony to Jesus healing work. Yet those around were unable to see him – as if they did, they would have to confront their own blindness.
It’s a strange, even bizarre idea that Jesus shares: that by his leaving his followers will actually be to their advantage. What advantage can there be in loneliness and sadness? But would we recognise the promise that what is to come is greater: the spirit? But more importantly – are we open to what accepting the Spirit means to our lives?