Sunday, 25 November 2012

Preparing to prepare for Christmas

As I prepared to lead the service this afternoon, I spent time thinking over the Bible verses chosen; Daniel 7:9-10 & 13-14 and John 18:33-37.  I had lots of time to think these through last weekend as I went away to a ladies retreat weekend at Lee Abbey in North Devon.  The weekend was a time to craft and spend time with God and like minded women.

Beaded star and hanging heart
The North Devon countryside was at its most Autumnal best with hills ablaze in shades of red and orange.  The theme of the Sunday service was slowing down and spending time with God.  Which brought me back to this afternoon's service preparation.

Autumn in our garden
The Bible readings both look at the coming of God's Kingdom, which is in part what we are looking forward to at Christmas.  Christ needed to be born as a baby to die on the cross for our sins.  Not a link we make very often but Easter and Christmas are both about the same thing; God's unconditional love for us.

So this afternoon we looked at all the things we use to prepare for Christmas, during advent.  We took our advent calendar, countdown snowman, my Christmas planner and a host of Christmas magazines I have already collected this Christmas.  However, I pointed out the one thing missing from my pile was the Bible.  Don't get me wrong, we don't miss the point of Christmas, our chocolate advent calendar has the Christmas story on the back of each window and the advent bunting I made at Lee Abbey last year takes a longer look at the story, but we just open the window, turn over the bunting, read the words and get on with the day.

Countdown snowman
Our challenge as a family is to make more time for God this Christmas.  So we have found an advent Bible study on line, advent study guide, and shared the Bible readings and questions with our congregation and to help them share it with their friends, we have set up a group on Facebook, Advent Study 2012.

While I was away, the boys were busy as well.  They were at rugby in Wales on Friday and football at home on Saturday.  They even found time to start the decorating in the lounge.

saying goodbye to magnolia
We have also been working through the to do list in the Christmas planner and thinking about what little jobs we can get done before we open our home to family and friends over Christmas.  So Andy has repainted parts of the kitchen, cleaned the windows and the conservatory roof and fitted a new extractor over the oven.

Another job off the list complete!
The Bible passage for contemplation this week is Exodus 34:6

Then he passed in front of Moses and called out, 
“I am the Lord God. 
I am merciful and very patient with my people. 
I show great love, 
and I can be trusted.  

Our prayer as a family is for those affected by the flooding in the South West of England this week, for those who have been involved in their rescue and for those who will help them in the weeks ahead.  May they know God's presence in their troubles and may the true meaning of Christmas be seen; For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son.

With God's blessings from my family to yours,

Jo x

1 comment:

gareth batty said...

you're right !
November is really the month of preparation of all these little treasures you want to prepare for Christmas. and for me, the month of November is always too short to do everything....

thanks a lot for sharing
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