I hope you’ve managed to have a good Christmas and New Year despite everything, and here’s hoping 2021 gets better!
I have a new video, on the new beginnings that God offers us:
If you’d like a service sheet there’s one here: https://thoughtsfromareader.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Wednesday-Worship-13-January-2021-New-beginnings.docx
A ‘Thought for the Day’ for Black Cat Radio
It may not have been the Christmas Day you were hoping for or expecting but I hope it was as good as it could be.
Now we’re on Boxing Day and you might wonder what that name is all about.
As it happens it has nothing to do with fighting or clearing up opened boxes. No-one’s exactly sure what it means but there are a few theories.
One idea is that it comes from the tradition of giving to the poor on St Stephen’s Day, which is the 26th December. This tradition started because St Stephen was not only Christianity’s first martyr but also known for being generous to the poor.
Another idea is that it comes from people seeking out boxes, or tips, from rich people they’d worked for during the year.
And a final idea is that it comes from servants being given the day off to celebrate Christmas after having to work on Christmas Day.
Now of course it’s connected with turkey sandwiches, sports and sales.
Whatever the reason for the name Boxing Day, though, and however we spend it, it really doesn’t mean the end of Christmas. In fact, in the church’s year it’s only day 2 of the twelve days of the Christmas season. But, even without that, there’s no reason why we can’t try to keep some of the Christmas spirit of giving, hope and togetherness alive all year round.
After all, the Christmas message isn’t just about making one day different but about making all days different, all year round.
So, Happy Boxing Day and best wishes for the New Year!
May the song of the angels,
the joy of the shepherds,
the wonder of the wise men,
and the peace of the newborn king
fill our hearts and homes
this Christmastime and always.
May the news of the angels fill your life and your heart with great joy.
May the star that guided the wise lead you to the truth of understanding.
May the witness of the shepherds affirm in you the message of the Gospel.
May the sound of the incarnate Word bring you peace and hope.
May the presence of the sacred baby remind you of your own holiness.
And may this Christmas gift you, bless, comfort you, inspire you,
as you journey into another year.
Here is the last Advent Wednesday Worship video, this time on birth and rebirth.
This is also the last Wednesday Worship for this year; watch this space to find out what will happen next year.
Service sheet here: Advent 4 – Birth and Rebirth
I hope you have a blessed and joyful Christmas
Hope you’re all keeping well.
Here is the next Wednesday Worship for Advent. This time it’s on choosing God’s way. As an example, we look at the Virgin Mary as an example of freely offered obedience.
A service sheet is available here:
A Thought for the Day for Black Cat Radio on 12th December 2020
Hello, I hope you’re all keeping well.
Walking around near where I live, I’ve noticed a lot of people have put their Christmas lights up outside. Some mutter that it’s too early, but I think this year, of all years, we need to cut each other some slack and appreciate people putting in the effort to brighten things up a bit. The lights on the houses are all different from one another and give a lovely variety to look at in the dark. I find them very cheering.
The desire for light in the darkness is very old, going back to the days when our earliest ancestors would huddle round a fire at night for warmth, light, and safety. With light we can see where we are going, know who and what is around, and feel a bit safer. On one of my recent walks, I nearly bumped into someone walking her dog on an unlit pathway. This was not only embarrassing but we also both thought that a light would’ve made that part of the walk so much nicer.
Christmas, like many festivals and celebrations at this time of year, is all about light. Not just physical light, although there’s plenty of that with bright stars, shining angels, and so on, but a spiritual and inner light. The story of God coming to earth as a human baby brings light to many by offering comfort, hope and joy. It also reassures us God is not some far-off man with a beard sitting on a cloud. Rather, God comes right down into the darkness and mess to share our lives, help us cope with darkness and difficulty, and show us a better, more fulfilling, more loving way to live.
So, as we go towards Christmas, and look forward to the Covid-19 vaccine hopefully making a difference next year, why not remind yourself of the story of that first Christmas and see if there’s light in it for you?
Here is the second in our Advent series of worship times, with prayer, poetry, praise and readings.
This time we focus on darkness and light.
You can follow along with this service sheet if you wish: Advent 2 – Light and Darkness
I am starting some Advent Wednesday Worship videos to take us up to Christmas.
Here is the first one:
And here is a service sheet if you’d like one:
These videos are shorter and include prayers, poems and music.
Do let me know if you enjoy them.
Prayers, music and poetry for Advent 2020, as we look forward to Christmas