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December 2013 Services

Advent and Christmas Services 2013

Lives Transformed by Christmas
Those who want to push Christ out of Christmas are missing the heart of it. We invite you to draw close to the Christ over these weeks of Advent that celebrate his coming.  The coming of Christ to the world not only changed the course of history it has down through the ages changed billions of lives.  Those who take time with Jesus and his message find themselves becoming new.  Values, character, passions, practices are all slowly transformed in life giving ways.  As Jesus comes to us small and as a baby so our faith small as a tiny seed has a subtle start but when nurtured – growth happens.  Through the season of Advent and in our Christmas services we will take time with Jesus to nurture the transformative effects of his word and the Spirit in our lives.  Please join us for the services detailed below.

Children and Christmas – special attention is given to the children in the opening part of the service before they are dismissed for Children’s church.  We will be lighting the Advent candles and setting up a nativity scene as we unfold the Christmas story each week.

December 1st –Hope – (Isaiah 9:2; 1 Peter 1:3-9).   Before the coming of Christ there was a deep longing and an anticipation that God was going to do something.  This expectation was fuelled by hope; and this hope was fuelled by the promises  of God.  The coming of Christ would both fulfill and increase this hope.  We learn today how this hope can help to shape our lives and living.   Christ brings hope to you.  1st Sunday in Advent – candle of Hope

December 8th – Peace – (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Colossians 1:19-23; John 26:33) -Peace is a diligently sought but sadly elusive reality.  We live in a broken world of stress and turmoil robbing us of peace both within and without.  Christ is called the Prince of Peace and promises a peace but not as the world gives it.  Come embrace the Peace (Shalom) that Jesus gives.  Peace be with you.  2nd Sunday in Advent   – candle of Peace

December 15th Cantata – Bethlehem’s Child – Nothing brings an expression of joy like a good song.  At the birth of the Saviour the angels came with good news of great joy and the angel host singing “Glory to God in the highest.”  Today our choir presents a celebration of this great event in song.  (Luke 2:8-14)  3rd Sunday in Advent – candle of Joy

December 22rd – Love – (John 3:16; Luke 1:67-79) It is of course wonderful and desirable to be loved.  The message of Christmas announces the love of God for the world and for you.  But there is in the message of Christmas also a call to be one who loves – to be loving of others.  Let us have our hearts enlarged by the message and practice of Christ.  4th Sunday in Advent – candle of Love

December 24th 6:30 Christmas Eve Candlelight Service – Birth – (Luke 2:4-20: Romans 8:18-24a) Join us for this wonderful family and community service.  Birth and new life are events of miracle and mystery.  The birth of Jesus was a lot of both.  The quiet and humble birth of Jesus would begin the events that are bringing new birth to the planet – and a re-birth of lives.  Let us celebrate this new life.  – 5th Sunday in Advent – candle of Christ.  Service is followed by Apple Cider and light refreshments

December 29th Appreciating Our Gifts – John:12,13: Luke 2:25-40)  It would be a shame to receive a generous and carefully chosen gift provided at great expense and then not to enjoy it.  On this side of Christmas let us consider whether this gift of Christ has been received and what that means as we move into a new year.  Blessed are we all.  Welcome.

January 5th – Epiphany  “The Shepherd”(Isaiah 60:1-6; Matthew 2:1-12’ Micah 5:2) When the Magi came looking for the One born King of the Jews, they were quoted a scripture that spoke of a shepherd.  At the beginning of a new year let’s be sure that we are under the care and guidance of the good shepherd.  Together in Christ we enter a new year.