Service - Welcome to Advent
Names - Mighty God
Names - Everlasting Father
- Gloryfying (with Toddlers' Nativity)
Names - Prince of Peace
by Candle Light
Day - Mary Ponders
denotes communion will be held as part
of the worship service
(with Craft Group)
for 12:00 noon
- Christmas Dinner
and 20th - Mark
and 13th - Bible Course
Phoenix Choir - Friday 7th at 7.30
The Phoenix Choir will be giving their regular
Christmas Concert in support of the British
Heart Foundation and Llanwenarth Baptist Chapel.
This is always a very good evening, so please
come and join us to get the Christmas Season
Churches Together Scratch Nativity - Saturday
8th at 1.30
There will be a walking 'Scratch Nativity',
starting at the Methodist church and ending
at Gateway. The Christmas story will be told
as we walk along - with Father Mark in the role
of the grumpy innkeeper as narrator. Come dressed
as one of the characters and join in - there
is room for everyone. This will be followed
by a service at Gateway at 4.
Village Carols - Saturday 22nd at 6
Once more the outdoor service of carols and
readings will be held in Church Road - followed
by mulled wine and mince pies in the Village
Hall. Come along prepared to sing of the Saviour's
here we are Christmastime again! Holly
is the king of evergreens they say and
certainly the berries have been wonderful
this year so far. Will they last until
Christmas though is the question? Now
the weather is getting colder we might
get some lovely frosts on the greenery
too. It's interesting to see some bulbs
just poking their heads out of the soil
now and maybe the odd primrose or two.
One of my particular favourites is the
Christmas Rose (Hellebores) which seem
to go on for ages at this time of year.
Brussel sprouts are said to be at their
best after a frost, so make the most of
them. Please ensure plenty of bird food
as the winter is the hardest time for
these lovely creatures.
This is also a good time to fumigate your
greenhouse and give it a good clean ready
for early planting next year.
Make the best of all the lovely berries
and evergreens to make lovely wreaths
and table decorations for Christmas.
Most of all enjoy the rest over these
weeks and make the best of the festive
that time of year again - when it is cold
and dark outside, and the plans for the
big family day are only half formed, and
your inner Scrooge is crying out Bah! Humbug!
every time you go into a shop a shop and
hear Slade reminding you that Here it is,
Merry Christmas, its only just begun (as
if you could forget, with all the cards
and adverts and subtle - or even unsubtle
- hints of what is wanted this year) and
there are another six weeks to follow.
Yes, Christmas is coming, and you long for
the days of innocence once more. The joy
you see on your children and grandchildren
as they open the presents with wide eyes.
The memory you have of waiting up all night
just to catch your parents putting your
presents at the foot of the bed, or waking
up early to empty the stocking and get the
tangerine out of its foot.
And as a preacher, I wonder what new thing
I can say to catch the imagination, to make
the story come to life, to live up to the
expectation. What else can be said after
30 years of telling the old familiar tale.
There lies the trouble - we take it all
for granted. I remember when I first came
here, looking out of the window each morning
and seeing the Sugar Loaf. I did not actually
pinch myself, but it was hard to believe
that this was where I worked - not a prolonged
holiday. Now - yes, I love walking in the
hills, and go to the top of Sugar Loaf many
times a year (mainly to wait for DofE groups).
But day by day, it is just there, and no
longer a thing of wonder.
It is much the same with Christmas. Of course
we enjoy the day when it finally arrives
- even with its family tensions and financial
problems. But it has become all too familiar.
We need to remember the story once more
- that there and then, long ago, the God
who made the universe became a baby in a
backwater of the Roman Empire. That the
God who set the course of the nations became
a baby, dependent on his mother and father
for every need. As John put it so well:
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling
God pitched his tent on our lawn.
When we stop and think, we realise just
how amazing that was. And this God who came
long ago is with us now. Enjoy your Christmas.
And in the midst of all, stop for a moment
and wonder. For behind all the music and
the adverts and the fuss, there is the birth
of a new world, as God draws near to us
in Jesus, the babe of Bethlehem and Lord
of the Universe.
Have a very merry Christmas.