30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW Weekly Update #182 10th December 2023
From the Minister Being Angelic
Do you need wings to qualify as an angel? This weekend we’re having a ‘festival of angels’ at Saint Columba’s. The church building is open across the weekend in conjunction with the North Shields Christmas Market, which is taking place just outside our doors. Do come along and view the imaginative installations in the church building which reflect the theme, and stay for the tea, coffee and edibles being served in the church hall. And while you are eating and drinking, ask yourself, ‘what’s an angel?’ Are angels simply supernatural winged creatures that turn up in a burst of light. Well, yes, sometimes, as with a heavenly host visiting shepherds at the first Christmas (Luke 2:8-14), though you will search in vain for any reference to wings. In the Bible angels are ‘messengers’ from God: the opening line of the carol, ‘Hark! Theheraldangels sing’ gets that right. What makes an angel an angel is not their wings but their job: bringing a message from and about God. On that basis any one of us can (and should) be an angel.
Prayer Gracious God, by whose tender compassion the light of Christ has dawned upon us; open our hearts, so that joyfully receiving Christ, like angels, we may declare his glory to the ends of the earth. Amen.
Worship SUNDAY 10th December 2023
Service led by Trevor Jamison, on the theme of ‘Angels, Prophets and Messengers at Christmas’
Livestreamed Worship from Saint Columba’s
To watch the morning service live, catch up with it later in the week, or view previous services, click here.
Sunday 17th December – Nativity Service
The story of the birth of Jesus retold, with opportunities for participation by all people of all ages
Bible readings for this week Isaiah 40:1-11 Proclaiming the arrival of God
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 God will speak peace to the people
2 Peter 3:-15 The ‘Day of the Lord’ will come
Mark 1:1-8 ‘The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ’
Reflection on the Readings
‘The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.’ (Mark 1:1) If you were going to write a Gospel (a word which means ‘good news’) where would you begin? Many of us would do so with the birth of Jesus, which is what Matthew and Luke did. Mark is different. In eight short verses he begins with a prophet, John the Baptist, preparing the people for the arrival of Jesus. Immediately after that Jesus is baptised (9-11), tempted (12-23), then embarks on ministry in Galilee (14-15). If we depended on Mark alone for information about Jesus Christmas would be a very low key event. Usefully, Mark reminds us not to focus our attention on the birth alone. What comes after – the adult ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus – is every bit as significant. No one moment by itself is more important than all the others put together. Instead, it’s the person – ‘Jesus Christ, the Son of God’ – who matters, who holds the story together, and who makes it ‘good news.’
Image: Photo by Lauren Kan on Unsplash
A Hymn that responds to the reflection
‘On Jordan’s bank, the Baptist’s cry announces that the Lord is nigh’
7.15 p.m. at St Columba’s, North Shields.
Special Collection for Compassion – additional chance to donate.
This Sunday there will be a collecting box for Compassion to give extra support to their children this Christmas. We are asking for donations of £1 if possible.
Christmas Leaflet drop volunteers
We plan a Christmas leaflet drop in central North Shields during the week beginning Monday 11th December. If you can deliver some leaflets please meet briefly after the service at church this Sunday or contact Trevor Jamison.
Next Update – Sunday 17th December
John Drew will edit the next Update. To get your information in the 17th December edition please have it with him by Tuesday 12th December.
Keeping in Touch
You can contact your Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.