30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW Weekly Update #185 – 7th January 2024
From the Minister They Think It’s All Over …
In our household we take down our Christmas decorations on the 6th of January, which makes us later than many. On the other hand, we often don’t put up the tree until just a few days before Christmas day, which means we start later than most. In the church calendar Christmas doesn’t start until Christmas Day (or perhaps when night has fallen on Christmas Eve). It doesn’t finish until Epiphany – 6th January – when we celebrate the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus. (Some decoration die-hards want to hold out until Candlemas, forty days after Christmas Day, but they are few and far between.) Whichever the case, celebrating Epiphany reminds us that Christmas is the beginning of something, not its conclusion. That thought inspired the African-American educator and theologian Howard Thurman (1899-1981) to offer the following: When the song of the angels is stilled, When the star in the sky is gone, When the kings and princes are home, When the shepherds are back with their flock, The work of Christmas begins: To find the lost, To heal the broken, To feed the hungry, To release the prisoner, To rebuild the nations, To bring peace among others, To make music in the heart.
Trevor Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Unsplash
O God, who by the shining of a star led the wise ones to the city of David: guide me by the light of your Spirit, that I too may come into the presence of Jesus, offering gifts and worship to him.
Amen A prayer by Alan Warren (altd.)
Worship Sunday 7th January
10.30 a.m. Service led by Trevor Jamison – celebrating the visit of the magi and the light of Epiphany.
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 14th January
10.30 a.m. A communion service led by Trevor Jamison – at this service we hope to welcome representatives from the Fishermen’s Mission https://www.fishermensmission.org.uk/ and Little 1 Stop, North Shields – organisations for which we collected money during the Christmas period.
Bible readings for Christmas
Isaiah 60: 1-6 ‘Your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you’
Psalm 72:1-7,10 -14 ‘May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service’
Ephesians 3: 1-12 Jesus accepts even ‘the very least of all the saints’
Matthew 2:1-12 Travellers from the East visit the child Jesus
Reflection on the Readings
‘Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem.’ (Matthew 2:1) What was it that made the wise men ‘wise’? Was it their learning? They were ‘magi’. In modern terms, they were a combination of astronomer and astrologer, both observing the stars and also interpreting them in terms of events on earth. So they were learned, but I know plenty of learned people who are bereft of common sense. Perhaps they were wise because they were interested in what was going on around them. They spent time observing the stars and making themselves aware of what was going on in the world. For instance, they were aware of the Jewish people who lived to their West. And they acted on what they discovered, traveling to make inquiries about a child born with royal credentials. They were also ready to listen to their dreams, going home without stopping to talk to Herod. Knowledge, interest, and a readiness to act, including in response to God-given dreams – a combination that spells ‘wisdom’. Image by andreamicca from Pixabay
We are sorry to inform you of the death of the Revd Ted Marley OBE, who was connected with Saint Columba’s, leading worship for us on many occasions.
We have also received news of the death of Ethel Boxshall in December. Ethel was a former member of the congregation and leader of the afternoon guild.
Christmas Eve Collection
Thank you to all who contributed to the collection at our Christmas Eve Carol Service. We raised £350 for Little 1 Stop, a North Shields charity providing pre-loved baby and child items for families which might struggle to afford new.
Defibrillator Moved to New Location
For your information, the church’s defibrillator has been moved from the vestry to the entrance outside the church hall, to increase awareness of its existence and availability, should it ever be needed.
Café 2 21 re-opens
Café 2 21 re-opens on Tuesday 9th January 2024.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service – Tuesday 17th January, 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 14th January 2024
Trevor Jamison will edit the next Update. To get your information in the 14thJanuary edition please have it with him by Tuesday 9th January.
Keeping in Touch
You can contact your Elder, the Minister, or Church Secretary.