Christmas is traditionally a time for giving, be that presents, love, joy, food and hospitality.
In my mind, Jesus coming to earth as a baby is the greatest gift of all. God gave us Jesus for our salvation, in eternity. We open our Christmas presents just the same. We have to open the gift of Jesus Christ by believing in him and accepting him in order to have the blessings of the present.
We all thought in 2020 at Christmas time, that Covid would pass, and we would be back to normal by 2021. Not so. The new variant has hit the news with a dark cloud of concern and negative expectation. Will it be worse? Will the vaccine work? When will a new Omicron booster be available? We had hoped it was going to be a back-to-normal Christmas?
Many will already know about the Messy Church initiative which is has been helping churches connect with local families, reach out to the isolated and boost engagement since 2004. Growing in popularity, there are now ‘Messy Churches’ in over 20 countries.
The widespread popularity of the song titled ‘The Blessing’ is the kind of viral infection we actually did need last year. The sung version of the blessing from Numbers 6: 24-26 is deeply moving, yet somehow uplifting.
Some say that a church can use any building. Some churches do. Hillsong London have met for years in the Dominion Theatre in London’s west end. They had to run several services every Sunday with queues around the block for each one. That was before lockdown at least.
Whilst reflection has always been a key element of faith, looking to the future is just as important, as we begin to identify our new normal.
As Christians, we value the faith restoring tools God provides us with. Today, we share music that may help you feel a little brighter for a time until we can once again, worship together in our churches without constraints.
Isaiah 54 verses 2 to 4 are inspiring. “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch the tent curtains wide, lengthen the chords and strengthen the stakes. … do not be afraid.”
“Well, here we go again” is a phrase you might have heard a lot this week, usually said with an air of woe and a tone of despair. The Prime Minister’s announcement on the 31st of October that a second lockdown would be implemented from Thursday the 5th of November for four weeks is really for our good.
Of course, it’s not Christmas with COVID, it’s Christmas with Jesus Christ. It’s the celebration of his birth, whatever. On the other hand, there is no escaping the fact that it is so different.