The Inside Column 2/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 02, 2018 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

The Christmas season is one of the busiest times of the year, everything seems to speed up and we have many nights out and things to go to. But it is also a season of reflection and preparation for that special day when we mark Emmanuel’s coming -the arrival of our eternal God in our own frail humanity.

Today we start the session of Advent. Advent comes from Latin and means “coming;” its purpose is “to look forward to the coming of Christ to earth; it was a season that focused on waiting.”  I don’t know about you but I am not very good at waiting, yet we spend the four weeks before Christmas looking forward, waiting, and contemplating the coming of Jesus. We all have different expectations and experiences of Christmas. For some, Christmas is a time of presents, good food, a couple of drinks and movies. For others it is a time of family and coming together and for holidays. For some Christmas is a hard time.

Maybe not getting on with some of your family members, for some there might be the pressure of spending too much money, the pressure of having no time, working too much. Or for some people Christmas can be a time of loneliness. Given that we all think and see Christmas in different ways, what is Christmas real all about?

C.S Lewis put it like this;

At Christmas we remember the central event in the history of the earth—the very thing the whole story has been about. The point of Christmas is Jesus Christ. At Christmas we celebrate the birthday of the most important person who ever lived, He is the centrepiece of our civilization.

In the birth of Jesus we see true love come into the world, Emmanuel – God is with us and when we put our faith, our hope in him, his love comes and lives in us. As we start the advent season, and in all the busyness let’s keep this thought at the heart of our thinking, Emmanuel – God is with us.

As many of you know, Luke is moving on to a new venture and we would love to bless him with a gift. If you would like to donate towards this there is a container marked Luke’s Gift at the back of church or write Luke on your envelope.

We are looking for a couple of volunteers to do some cleaning over the holidays, to keep the church nice and clean. If you are around over the first couple of weeks of January and have a spare couple of hours we would love to hear from you. Call David in the office for details.

 

Yours in Christ

 

Philip

 

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