Isn’t that a wonderful truth? God came to us.
Yet despite all the Old Testament prophecies, the event still caught people by surprise. Relatively few believed in Jesus during his earthly ministry. Maybe we can understand that: if we think what would happen if Jesus was born today, we quickly also think that few would believe he was from God. More likely, we would think he is delusional, like the Russian boy who says he’s reborn on earth and is really from Mars.
And yet, the Word of God became a human being. That verse above reminds us just how special he was, full of grace and truth, because he was from God. His character displayed God. He showed us the Father. He was tempted as we are, and yet was without sin. There is no-one who has lived before or after who is like that. And that’s because he is God incarnate, God himself lived among us.
For us who do believe in Jesus, this time of the year is special. Advent is the time we wait and prepare, listening to the prophets, and the stories of the angels appearing to Zechariah and then Mary, hearing the story unfold once more. Christmas is a celebration that God has come, the Word is flesh, living among us and through us even today.
This year we celebrate those points with a fresh Advent liturgy, remembering each step of the way. There is also the Advent course on Zoom, or using the books in our own devotions, following the journey of the Magi (wise men), who of course began their journey well before the new King’s birth. This year we have our Advent Carol Service at Headingley Methodist Church. We then have a Nativity Service planned for the Sunday before Christmas, and a Christingle Service on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day will be our usual celebration of Christ’s birth, and then we begin preparations to go into the new year.
This year is one of lasts for me. This will be my last Christmas with you, and at this stage I don’t know what the future holds except God will be there in it as he is with you. And as we go into the new year as church and as part of the Leeds URC Partnership, there will be new things for all of us, new ways of being church. In it all we need to keep close to the one who came to live among us.
I wish you all have a very joyful Christmas and a peaceful yet fruitful New Year!
Clare and family <><
This month’s prayer meeting will be on Wednesday 8th December, from 10.30am to 11am as usual. Do join us in the comfort of your own home to spend the time in prayer for those in our church and those we know who are unwell, bereaved or need prayer for other issues.
A reminder that there is worship@4 on Sunday 28th November, most likely in the small hall.
There won’t be one in December as we’ll be having our Christingle Service instead, this year on Christmas Eve. Do join us for both.
|CALENDAR FOR DECEMBER 2021
|Service of Advent Readings and Music led by Rev Phil Chilvers
|Service of Lessons and Carols at HEADINGLEY METHODIST CHURCH
|Guild Christmas Lunch
|Nativity Service led by Rev Clare Davison
|Christingle Service led by Rev Clare Davison
|CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION led by Rev Clare Davison
|Christmas Readings and Music led by Mrs Margaret Madill and Prof Ian Lawrie
As previously mentioned we are not hosting either a Toy Service or Children’s Christmas party this year but instead donating money to the Salvation Army and the Women’s Refuge, with presents being distributed to families known to us who need a little extra help. Donations can be given to Susan Bollon and thank you to all those who have already contributed. The closing date is 5th December.
Remembering friends is one of the nicest parts of our preparations for Christmas. We send cards, we telephone and now email – or you may even use the Church Newsletter to send your greetings!
Denis and Charlotte Greig send their greetings, ‘ wishing all our friends and church family a Happy Christmas and a good New Year. We have settled well in Shropshire and are greatly blessed by the love and support of our family.’
Nancy Hill would also like to send her Best Wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year. We hope she will be back amongst to celebrate Christmas after being poorly for some weeks.
GUILD CHRISTMAS LUNCH
We shall be holding our Christmas Lunch on Tuesday, 14th December, meeting at 12.30pm for lunch at 1o’clock. We’d like to emphasise that all are welcome to this celebratory meal – just let us know if you would like to join us. The cost is £5.
And a reminder that you are always welcome, each month, to share lunch with us and that the fellowship is as important as the food! The cost £3. We ask for numbers in advance so we may cater efficiently and keep the costs low – not to deter you (please just let us know the Sunday before).
Put it in your diary – Guild Lunch: second Tuesday of most months. Pancake Day to be decided!
Again, I would like to thank all those who have organised the lovely plants and flowers in the church during the past three months. The January to March 2022 Flower Calendar is now on the notice board in the vestibule, awaiting the names of anyone who would like to choose a particular date. Do please have a word with me if you have any flower related queries or requests.
CONCERT FOR WHEATFIELDS
Last Sunday afternoon, were enjoyed a really entertaining concert given by the Harrogate Male Voice Choir, who kindly travelled to Headingley St Columba to give a charity concert in aid of Wheatfields Hospice. They are an internationally renowned choir and have recently appointed a new Musical Director, Mr Richard Kay. We were very disappointed to have had to cancel this event just before lockdown in March last year and we were delighted when the Concert Secretary approached us with a new date. It was a varied programme, that included traditional and modern songs, including hymns, solos, the opening words of ‘Under Milk Wood’ and a short talk by one of our former Members about his memories of Scottish rugby.
Just over £600 was raised for Wheatfields Hospice in Headingley and we are most grateful to the Choir and to all those who contributed so generously. If anyone is interested in finding more about or joining the HMV Choir, they should contact the Concert Secretary through the website (harrogatemvc.org.uk).
At Christmas time, when Christ was born
The angels, up above,
Looked down upon a cold, white world
And saw a need for love.
A tiny baby, Mary’s child, the Saviour of mankind,
Lay in a manger, in the straw, for those who searched, to find.
Because of him – we have Faith, to comfort and to bless.
Have warmth and friendship; joy and love
And Christmas happiness.