December Greetings from Ros
Greetings of Great Joy
I'm writing this whilst at a cottage in Rutland as I'm away with my friend Jean on Christmas preparation. We've come back to the cottage that we stayed at last year so it feels familiar. We've settled back into the same rooms, chairs and places at the table that we had last year. It has given us a sense of security. Even coming here was more relaxed this year because I knew where to find the cottage and knew what to expect when I got here. There are elements of Advent and Christmas that are familiar and that give us security - after all, the central message and story of Christmas is unchanging as we look forward to the celebration of the birth of the Saviour of the world.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given (Isaiah 9:6)
We have both been busy making inroads into our preparation of Advent and Christmas services and other things that we are involved in over this season. Despite the familiarity of the setting however this week is proving to be different from last year. This year I deliberately came a different route from Kirkby, coming more across country on smaller roads so that I could admire the scenery and could unwind on my way here. It is important sometimes to take a different route even to the most familiar places as we engage in new challenges. For me as an individual and for us as a chirch things will be different once we get into next year. There will be the familiar which brings a sense of security and there will be the changes that will bring new challenges. This will be confounded by mu awaited operation early in the year.
Some of what we've done here has also been diffent from last year whilst some has been very similar. Our work patterns have been very similar to usual as we tackle the services etc.. Last year we really nejoyed going for several walks around Rutland Water but this year we've only made one very brief visit tp see the sunset. But we've been to new places too. We've been into Peterborough to buy some resources and explore the cathedral. One day we even took a walk into Uppoingham which is a 10 minute walk from our cottage - last year we didn't even go there in the car! It's a quaint little town which we were glad we'd made the effort to explore. So often we ignore the things right on our doorstep or the obvious things to explore with God and we miss out in the process.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned (Isaiah 9:2)
This Advent we will be engaging with some of the familiar characters of the Christmas story, but hopefully in a different way.Our theme for Advent is 'PEOPLE MATTER'. God transformed so many lives at the time of Jesus' birth and has continued to do so ever since. During the month of December there will also be an opportunity to explore the people in the family tree of Jesus using a Jesse Tree when we will be reminded how throughout history God has shown us that people matter. May this Christmas be special as we open our lives for him to transform us over this Advent and Christmas period.
And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
Finally let me wish all a Christmas full of joy and a New Year filled with peace and good will. May 2018 be blessed by God for each one of you and for us together as a fellowship as we move forward with God.