30 Northumberland Square | North Shields | NE30 1PW
Weekly Update #89 Christmas 2021 and New Year 2022
From the Minister Christmas Light
I don’t know how many candles IKEA and other shops in the UK sell each year, but it must be millions. They certainly sell far more than are needed for illumination. After all, the great, great majority of homes have electricity for that, unless a major storm comes along. I imagine that most who are reading this have a candle or two around the house, and not just for lighting emergencies. There’s something a candle flame offers that a light bulb does not, even a dimmable one. There’s that sense of something alive, a presence, which gives both light and warmth. In words we often hear around Christmas time, John’s Gospel proclaims that ‘the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.’ It’s the candle-like, living, enlightening presence of God that’s being celebrated; the arrival of Jesus Christ, as represented by our church’s Advent and Christmas candles.
Image: Christmas and Advent Candles All Lit (NMc)
A Christmas Prayer
Grant, O Lord my God, that I rejoice to keep the feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ our Lord by walking worthily of him and attaining fellowship with him. Amen.
Adapted from the Leonine Sacramentary
CHRISTMAS WORSHIP SERVICES AT ST COLUMBA’S
Christmas Eve Carol Service at 6.30 p.m.
Our traditional blend of Christmas carols and readings. Please note the precautions we’ll be taking for your safety and that of others. The balcony will be open (adults only) so that there’s more space available between participants. Face coverings will be worn throughout the service. Sadly, we will have to forgo after-service mulled wine this year.
Christmas Day Service at 10.30 a.m. Led by Trevor Jamison, a thirty-minute celebration, with carols, readings and prayers
Sunday 26th December at 10.30 a.m. Led by Roberta Ritson, gathering round the crib with readings, music, carols, and a dash of story-telling!
Epiphany Service – Sunday 2nd January 2022 at 10.30 a.m. Led by Trevor Jamison – wise ones follow the light when looking for King Jesus
Bible readings for this week (from the Revised Common Lectionary)
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 ‘The true light, which enlightens everyone,
was coming into the world’
‘Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth,’ it says in psalm 98:4. Most years, in Advent and Christmas, we sing Isaac Watts’s paraphrase of Psalm 98, and apply it to the coming of Jesus Christ: ‘Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her king.’ The psalm invites the whole world to join in God’s praise, and ‘whole world’ here means more than all the people. The seas roar, the floods clap their hands, the hills sing together vv.7, 8). God acts upon and for the sake of the whole world, from it’s very beginning (John 1:1) to the present day, and at all the moments in between.