Monday, 4 December 2017

Christmas - what’s on your menu?

I’m writing on 1st December. Despite the Advent Calendar window you might have opened this morning it’s not actually Advent till Sunday 3rd December. Nevertheless, we’ve already had our first enquiries as to when our Christmas services are - especially the Christmas Eve Carol Service with Christingles. So, in case that’s your question… the answer is 6pm on Christmas Eve, Sunday 24 December.

Do I need to give the day and date for Christmas Eve as well? Actually 24 December is also the Fourth Sunday of Advent - which is why Advent starts so late and is so short this year. That means we have regular Sunday services in the morning - and then start again in the evening (and on into Christmas morning). Which begs the question: just what will people turn up to?

That depends on how you view the “Christmas menu.” The Christmas Eve Carols & Christingle Service is always huge - I’m glad! It’s got obvious appeal. If you haven’t been before, come now - and don’t leave it too late if you want a seat. But I want to say, it’s only a part of a greater whole. Christmas might start then with carols before the crib. But there’s all the preparation which we call Advent. The word means “coming.” Christ is coming - but will he find us with our hearts prepared? Not just the cards sent out and presents wrapped and catering sorted. But really waiting for the gift God sends us in Jesus. He’s a gift to be anticipated - and once received, then valued. So we need to be prepared to meet him. And then realise he brings a love which keeps on loving and asks us to keep loving too.

So come and join us before Christmas - during Advent. And follow it up! Remember Christmas isn’t just the Carol Service. I’d like to make a particular plea for the Midnight Mass (11.30pm)! But then there’s the year which follows - and I don’t mean just till 31st December. Advent Sunday is the beginning of the Christian Year - so it’s a good time for resolution as to how we’ll spend the 12 months ahead. Love, service of others and worship are top of the Christian menu - starting with God’s love for us. Wishing you God’s blessing, his love and joy.         

From our Parish Magazine for December 2017 and January 2018 - click the link to find all the contents 

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