The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light
Those who dwell in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined
I am writing this at the end of November, looking forward to Advent, school Nativity plays, plenty of carol services, concerts and, hopefully a happy, peaceful and safe Christmas Day singing our favourite.carols, with great joy.
Last year Advent was muted, we all missed out on so much, but, especially the children. So, this year, it is a real privilege for me to be able to go into the local schools and lead our children in worship and helping them to ‘Open the Book.’
Many of you will know that I live in Mary Tavy, so it has been a great joy to spend time planning a Christingle service for the children of Mary Tavy and Brentor School. It will take place at Christ Church during Advent. Before the service, we will be preparing the oranges in school during the morning. I know the children will be very excited. It will be a delight to see all their faces shining in the candlelight as they sing: ‘This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.’
So much was missing last year and most of this year too. Finally our ministry team and others were invited back into school, to lead worship in time for harvest festivals. What a delight to welcome the children back into church! Some had not set foot in church for nearly two years.
The harvest festivals were very special occasions and this year the children will be able to enjoy our Christmas Tree Festival, and their Christingle and carol services in church.
It is always lovely to see Tavistock full of excited children anticipating the arrival of Santa, but, my prayer is that, this year in particular, they will also begin to understand the true meaning of Christmas:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
And the government shall be upon his shoulder,
And his name shall be called
Wonderful counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
By the time the children open the first door on their Advent Calendars on December 1st, we will have already entered the penitential season of Advent; a time of reflection and preparation as we wait expectantly for the coming of Christ. At Christmas we celebrate his birth but we also look forward to his second coming, when all “will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’, with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:27).
Last year we were in lockdown and Rosie and I produced 5 online weekly reflections. We began with a reflection on Jesus calming the storm, relating it to the ‘Coronavirus storm’ and then Peter walking on the stormy sea to Jesus. We then looked at the wonderful, timeless Nativity stories from St Luke’s Gospel. We are not producing new reflections this Advent but, the beauty of online recordings is that they are still available to be viewed again. Rosie and I again invite you to journey with us through the storm which, sadly, isn’t over yet..
This is the link to the online reflections:
Finally, may I wish you all a joyful, safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year.