The hands that flung stars into space grasp at the mother’s breast. The infinite God accepted human limitations. The impassible God incapable of suffering becomes a vulnerable human being; a baby born in poverty in a backwater town in the Roman Empire but the ancient heartland of the Jews. God became man, that we might be divine Not Gods ourselves, that would be blasphemy, but filled with God’s Spirit and on fire with love for Him, transforming society, enriching the lives of others and bringing others to meet the living Christ..
God’s Kingdom will come, the King will return to his own, and the forces and powers of evil and apathy will quake at the sight of the Son of Man returning on the clouds of heaven with might and majesty. We don’t know God’s plan for our lives, we could die today or tomorrow, or the day after. We could live until we are a hundred, but our lives are futile and without meaning and purpose unless we find God, the source of all life, and the source of out being. It is God who keeps the stars in the firmament of the heavens, and Christ himself who flung the stars into space could have flung them down on his betrayer and his accusers. But God’s ways are different. God’s way is a way of peace and humility. God used Mary, a young woman, who was ‘humble and meek’. He exalts the humble and casts down the self-righteous and self-important. God calls us to follow him in humility, and to walk the way of the cross and to put him above everything else.
God uses us as his hands today, speaking through us, words of comfort in distress and words of hope into lives filled with despair. For Christ to be seen today we all need to be doing his will, in his way. God uses those in his church, and those outside it, men and women of goodwill to bring peace on earth and joy to the world. The closer our knowledge of God is, the greater the knowledge we have of God’s will, and the greater is the guilt and shame for disobeying him. Do we seek to do his will? Can his kingdom come into our lives, and that of our community? Advent, God’s kingdom is welcomed in, and our hearts are prepared to receive Jesus Christ as saviour as we celebrate Christmas Day and as our lives are transformed as we seek to do his will, and to become at one with the Divine Trinity who is the source of life and of our being.
I don’t know about you, but my favourite mince pies are made with lashings of brandy in the mincemeat, and with puff pastry. I know they can be made in other ways - shortcrust pastry or even cherries in the mincemeat, but I like to stick to what I like best. Sometimes I am persuaded to try something new, or something I am not keen on. Do you like your mince pies dusted with icing sugar? It’s not my cup of tea!
Recipes differ, so do tastes. Some people like traditional favourites, others like modern or contemporary twists on old themes.
Tastes in church can also vary. The article on the right hand side of this page uses symbolic language and imagery to describe faith and what happened at Christmas: God came down to earth as a baby. It was the same god who made the world, and the same God who chose to die on the cross for you and me on that first Good Friday.
Enjoy a mince pie and think about faith as Christmas gets nearer!
Advent children's talk -
Christmas is coming.
God's chosen people waited for hundreds of years. They waited for God to send his chosen leader. They waited for a king to set them free from their enemies. They waited in strange countries like Assyria and Babylon. They waited in Israel occupied by foreign Greek and Roman soldiers. God's people, the Jews waited and hoped. They kept hoping when other people gave up hope and got fed up with waiting. They waited and waited and waited. They hoped and hoped and hoped.
Children all over the world are waiting. They wait for a special day and the birth of a special baby. They wait for the birth of Jesus, for his birthday. Children all over the world hope... they hope to see Father Christmas, they hope to see snow at Christmas, they hope and wait. They wait for their family to come round, aunts and uncles, cousins, gran and grandad. They wait for Christmas dinner, with all their favourite foods, and ....brussel sprouts. They wait for presents under the tree, and for christmas stockings filled with oranges and lots of chocolate at the end of their beds. It's a magical time of year.
When you are young it's very hard to wait. Will Christmas ever come? It will, christmas day is coming it's getting nearer. And I won't delay Christmas any more. God bless and have a very happy Christmas.