Christmas 2013

‘So, what would you like for Christmas darling?’  – hopeful words from a hapless husband, who once again is fishing for help, ideas, or anything that will relieve him of his fear of getting it wrong? At the top of his Christmas shopping list is one of those reindeer type ‘onesies’ but what size should he get anyway?

Is your stress level on the rise?…. are the lists of Christmas essentials so much longer than the same list you had last year?

700 years before Jesus was born to Mary in Bethlehem, a prophet going by the name of Isaiah wrote:…’the Lord will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him ‘Immanuel’ ( God with us). Isaiah 7:14

Just as we seem to prepare for Christmas earlier and earlier each year, so God was making it known that He too was preparing to give to the world the greatest gift he could: His son Jesus. And why did he do that?

To show us that he loves us and wants us to know what he is like. That’s rather like us giving gifts to those we love at Christmas. We want them to know that we love them and we value them very much and there really is nobody we would rather be with. Just the same sentiment God had with giving us his Son.

I hope that this Christmas you will be able to take some time out, get to a Carol Service, or come to church with your family on Christmas Day and hear a little more about ‘ the greatest gift ever given’ Gods Son Jesus. Its what Christmas is all about.

WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS

You will be so welcome to join our Christmas celebrations at STEPS on the evening of 15th December at 6.30p.m. for our Carol Service – on the morning of Sunday December 22nd at 10.00p.m. entitled ‘The Coming of the Saviour of the World’ and on Christmas Day at 10.00a.m. for about 45 minutes ‘ Welcome King of Kings’!

Advent

Advent – (from the Latin adventus meaning “coming”) is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, Dec. 25. For Christians, the season of Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting by the Israelites for the birth of the Messiah, and the waiting by Christians for the return of Christ. Perhaps the most famous hymn of Advent is: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Its lyrics, based on the Prophet Isaiah, articulate the hopeful anticipation of the Advent season:

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Emmanuel -from the Hebrew name עִמָּנוּאֵל (‘Immanu’el) meaning “God is with us”. This was the foretold name of the Messiah in the Old Testament. Isaiah ch.7 v14

Heavenly Father,
We praise you for this time of Advent,
this time of preparation, thanksgiving, challenge and reflection.
We praise you that in the fulfilment of your eternal purpose you came to our
world in Jesus,
revealing the extent of your love,
showing us the way to life,
allowing us to know you for ourselves.
We give you thanks. Amen