Christmas has officially started

Even though I say so myself, last night’s Carols by Candlelight was brilliant! The church was pretty full, the choir sang beautifully, the readers read wonderfully, the technical side of things worked seamlessly, the refreshments afterwards (with Get in The Picture too) were excellent (hall packed) and we all left with a wonderfully warm, Christmassy glow. For me it was the moment when Christmas really started. It was fantastic!

The morning service was pretty awesome too. This was led by our children and young people, who showed wonderful talents, confidence and faith in what they shared with us. Brilliant! My favourite moment in the service was the acting by Daisy as Mary in the nativity (by ages 3-5) when the angel appeared to her. Daisy was surprise personified! I loved it!

For all of the different, innovative, exciting, clever, fun ways that we can conceive and use to communicate the truth about Christmas it seems that the best are the traditional ones – simply telling it as it is through nativities and carol services and letting the good news speak for itself.

I get very excited about new mission opportunities. But I need to make sure that I am not always rushing to the new and neglecting what God wants to do through what is already happening. He is at work through all of the different activities that take place on our premises, and he is at work in the lives of each one of us among the people he has called us to serve in the workplace, the home, the neighbourhood, the wider community. He may not be asking us to do something new and spectacular… he may be asking us to use his age old method of us being free samples of Jesus for those around us.

A joke for all those using air travel at Christmas:

It was a few days before Christmas. The trip went reasonably well, and he was ready to go back home. The airport on the other end had turned a tacky red and green, and loudspeakers blared annoying elevator renditions of cherished Christmas carols.

Being someone who took Christmas very seriously, and being slightly tired, he was not in a particularly good mood. (Almost a scrooge) Going to check in his luggage at the airport he saw some mistletoe hanging at the check in desk. Not real mistletoe, but very cheap plastic with red paint on some of the rounder parts and green paint on some of the flatter and pointer parts, that could be taken for mistletoe only in a very Picasso sort of way.

With a considerable degree of irritation and nowhere else to vent it, he said to the attendant, “Even if we were married, I would not want to kiss you under such a ghastly mockery of mistletoe.”

“Sir, look more closely at where the mistletoe is.”

“Ok, I see that it’s above the luggage scale which is the place you’d have to step forward for a kiss.”

“That’s not why it’s there.”

“Ok, I give up. Why is it there?”

“It’s there so you can kiss your luggage good-bye.”

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