Celebrating together

This Sunday is our Annual Church Meeting and as part of that we celebrate together all that God is doing in our Church Family.

The reports are below. They tell a wonderful story of our Church family.

The Gospels in Lent

During Lent 2019 we will be aiming to have read (or listened to) all four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – the eye-witness accounts of the life of Jesus.

You can either read them in a real paper Bible, on an app on your phone, or on a website like www.biblegateway.com. I’d suggest you read from the New International Version (the NIV) as that’s the one we use in Church.

You can also listen online at

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/suchet/nivuk/Matt

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/suchet/nivuk/Mark

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/suchet/nivuk/Luke

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/suchet/nivuk/John

The reading plan is below and relates to the days of Lent (not including Sundays, so see the chart below that to plot your course through lent!)

December 25th – God with us

I wonder if anyone will read this on Christmas Day?

Maybe on a new tablet or laptop?

Or maybe not. 

But if you are reading this, whatever day it is, then firstly Happy Christmas, and secondly, may God bless you and those you love today and always.

Message me if it’s Christmas day.  I’d love to know if you’ve been here!

December 25th – God is with us

I wonder if anyone will read this on Christmas Day?

Maybe on a new tablet or laptop?

Or maybe not. 

But if you are reading this, whatever day it is, then firstly Happy Christmas, and secondly, may God bless you and those you love today and always.

Message me if it’s Christmas day.  I’d love to know if you’ve been here!

Virgin on the Ridiculous – Watch online

Here are the links from HebrewTube.   Feel free to share these videos and make use of them if you want.  Just give All Saints and Micah’s Gang a mention on the way.

Happy Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

December 24th – Time to Pause

We’re nearly there.  The journey through these 24 days of advent is nearly done.  On this Holy Night we remember that Jesus was born.

Now let’s not get hung up on dates.  Shepherds wouldn’t have been in the fields in December.  It’s too cold even in Jerusalem (where they can have snow on snow!!!)

Chances are Jesus was born in the spring not the winter,. so why December 25th.

In fact it wasn’t until 336AD that Emperor Constantine decided that the date for the celebration of the Mass of the Nativity of Christ (or as it became known the Christ Mass) should be 25th December.

The Christian Church had long history of camping its festivals and buildings on old pagan dates and places.  Many Christian Churches are on ancient pagan sites.  Many Christian festivals camp on ancient pagan dates.  

The name Easter comes not from the Bible but from the festival of Eostre – a fertility goddess, which the Church erased with the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus.  That one was easy because of the overlapping dates.

The pagan winter festivals centred around 25th December which whilst it isn’t the shortest day is the day when you can measure that the days are getting noticeably longer (by about a minute).

By placing the Christ Mass slap bang on top of these pagan festivals Constantine achieved his goal.  Christmas became the celebration, not the old pagan rituals.

Alas, we appear to have a whole heap of new Consumerist rituals attempting the same trick with Christmas!  But, less Humbug methinks.

Today is a day to pause.  To take time, before the great festivities of the morrow, to remember the truth, that whatever the date was, at a particular point of history, in a backwater town, in an occupied nation, to parents destined to be refugees, God became one of us – he “moved into the Neighbourhood”.

Take time to pause today in wonder.

December 23rd – No room

No room.

No room for a peasant girl pregnant outside of marriage.

No room for an older man with a young wife.

No room for a child born in the midst of political turmoil.

No room for anything vaguely religious in the midst of the celebration of Christmas?

Or maybe….

Maybe….

Maybe we can chose to make room in our lives for this Child who came to put everything right.

Maybe we can find space amongst the presents and the turkey and the chocolate for a manger, for a King, for a Saviour.

Is there room for this Jesus in your heart? 

December 22nd – Bethlehem

So after Shepherds and Wise Men the camera pans back to the little town of Bethlehem.  Almost insignificant in size and location, yet the gaze of the whole Universe is drawn to this tiny little town, in a backwater nation, on a  small blue planet, orbiting a rather ordinary star, in the outskirts of a rather small Galaxy.

Here!  It happened here! 

A Beautiful telling of the story

The Bible Project is an amazing organisation dedicated to really high quality videos about the Bible.  They have videos for every book of the Bible and more on themes in scripture.

This video tells the story of the birth of Jesus in the most beautiful way.

Why not take 5 minutes to watch it!

 

December 21st – Presents!!!

PRESENTS!!!!!!!!!

It’s what Christmas is all about! (Well almost!)

You can tell a lot about someone from the presents they ask for and you can tell a lot about someone from the presents others give to them.

Now the gifts Jesus were given by the visiting Wise Men from foreign lands weren’t asked for.  But they are VERY significant.

Gold – in those days Gold was very rare.  Much rarer than it is now and its still pretty rare.  Gold was a gift given only to royalty – to Kings.  The Wise Men came looking for “the child to be born King of the Jews”.  Jesus was marked as a King even before his birth.

Frankincense – In many Catholic and Anglo Catholic Churches today the worshippers use Incense as a visual sign of their prayers and worship.  Incense has been used for hundreds, even thousands of years as part of Worship.  Again, Frankincense was very expensive – it would be a very costly gift and a very strange one to give to a child.  Frankincense was only used by Priests as part of worship or offered to God himself.  So this gift of incense is either a gift to a Priest or to God himself – in Jesus case – maybe both?

Myrrh – This is a baby gift in VERY poor taste.  Imagine turning up to a Baby Shower with a little coffin, or a prepaid funeral plan.  You wouldn’t be very popular would you.  But that’s just what a gift of Myrrh would be like.  It is another expensive oil used to prepare bodies for burial.  It is probably one of the “spices” the women brought to Jesus’ tomb to anmnoint him with when they discovered he had risen from the dead.  Death and suffering go hand in hand with Myrrh.  What a peculiar gift to give to a baby.

Presents!  But presents that tell us a huge amount about this child.  Gold for a King, Frankincense for God, and Myrrh for one who was to die to save the whole world.