So, to quote Noddy Holder, “It’s Christmaaas!!!” – well, almost. It’s been Christmas movie time on tv since September. It’s been Christmas adverts time on tv since October, and church Christmas fairs have been known to appear in November. This week I was confronted with an advert for a “Boxing Day Sale” due to start on 22nd December and run to 30th December. I think they may be a little ahead of themselves there. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Christmas Day will be on the 25th of December again this year (though I’m up for saying that Christmas starts when darkness falls on the 24th). I’m intending to enjoy the food, the drink, and the gifts. Also, I’m intending to take a moment to ponder what sort of God decides to speak to us through the birth of a baby – to demand our attention (as babies do), through helplessness, not coercive power.
I wish you all a happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.
PrayerAlmighty and everlasting God, you stooped to raise fallen humanity by the child-bearing of blessed Mary; grant that we who have seen your glory revealed in our human nature, and your love made perfect in our weakness, may daily be renewed in your image, and conformed to the pattern of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(A prayer by David Silk)
Worship Sunday 24th December – Christmas Eve 10.30 a.m. A service for the fourth Sunday in Advent, led by Trevor Jamison – Mary receives disturbing and hopeful news that she is to have a child.6.30 p.m. Christmas Eve Carol Service
Our highly popular candle-lit service, featuring Christmas readings, music and carols, followed by mince pies and mulled wine.
Come along, and bring your friends, family and neighbours!
To watch the Christmas Eve morning service, the Carol Service, or Christmas Day service, live or later, go to YouTube.
Monday 25th December – Christmas Day 10.30 a.m. A light-hearted, thirty-minute morning service, led by Trevor Jamison, celebrating the birth of Jesus. It will be a cracker!
Sunday 31st December 10.30 a.m. A service led by Trevor Jamison – the older generation get to meet the child Jesus and have things to say about his future.
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.
Bible readings for Christmas Isaiah 52:7-10 ‘All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God’
Psalm 98 ‘Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!’
Hebrews 1:1-12 ‘In these last days God has spoken to us by a Son’
John 1:1-14 ‘And the Word became flesh and lived among us’
Reflection on the Readings
‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ (John 1:1) Mark starts his Gospel with the adult John the Baptist who soon meets the adult Jesus. Luke starts his earlier, with news of the birth of the Baptist, followed by news about the birth of Jesus. Matthew goes back to Abraham, and the other ancestors of Jesus to begin his Gospel. John, however, goes back even further – the beginning of everything. ‘In the beginning’ starts not only John’s Gospel but also the book of Genesis. In Genesis, God’s ‘Word’ brings everything into being: ‘Let there be light.’ (Gen. 1:3) Now, by writing his Gospel in this way, John signals that God is speaking to the whole world, to the whole of creation, through Jesus, who is the ‘Word’ of God (1:1), the ‘true light which enlightens everyone’ (1:9). When God speaks, things happen, and it’s glorious to see: ‘And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.’ (1:14)
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service – Wednesday 17th January at 7.30 p.m.
Churches Together in North Shields will be holding a service of prayer for Christian unity at Saint Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday 17th January at 7.30 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to come along and take part. The service will be followed by refreshments, and then a short Churches Together Forum meeting.
Next Update – Sunday 7th January 2024
Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in for that edition, please have it with him by Tuesday 2nd January.
Keeping in Touch
You can contact your Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.