At this time of Advent, it seemed appropriate for us to focus on the glory of God and how glorious he is, and so that means we don’t have to fear others. The glory belongs to God, not to us, everything we are and do is about showing his glory through us to others.
We often sing a worship song, which has the line, “ and if God is for us, who can stand against us?” In this we recognise the fact that God is for us, in all circumstances, and in all conversations, and in all contexts, we do not have to be afraid. All we have to be is who we are created to be, and be confident in our identity, as individuals, MSC’s and as Kairos.
We do not have to be afraid of others, their words, their actions, as we are about showing the glory of God not the glory of others! Other people may well say things, and act in ways that does not help us, but we must return to our foundation that our lives are about the glory of God.
As a church going through the vacancy process still, how is it that we can continue to show the glory of God to others around us, and show it to each other as well. We do not need to be afraid of what others think, but also we do not need to add fear into people’s lives. So in this season, let’s ensure that in confidence we show the glory of God to all around us, and encourage each other not to be afraid, but to recognise the glory of God around each of us.
And as we reflect upon the glory of God this month, praying in our MSC’s and as a whole Church, do remember that we will be having launch week in January, 7-10 January.
We will be focusing upon how Jesus had compassion for others, and we are called to have compassion on people around us, wherever that may be, work, home, community, travels, where ever! so be thinking over this season, who is it that God may be calling you to pray for during launch week, and who will he be calling you to have compassion for.
We would like to invite you to join celebrate the birth of Jesus who is God with Us this Christmas.
We’d love to see you at one of the following Gatherings:
Sunday 17th December – Simply Christingle.
Join us from 3 – 5pm to prepare for Christmas with craft, carols, food and fun.
An offering will be taken to give to the Children’s Society
Christmas Eve: 9am Communion. 9 – 10am
Christmas Day: Celebration with Communion: 10 – 11am
We’d love to invite you to join us as we celebrate Christmas together at the following gatherings:
Sat 19th December—Simply Christmas, 3 – 5pm
Drop in for festive food, fun and a chance to explore the Christmas Story. There will be activities that all ages can enjoy.
Thursday 24th December—Christingle Cafe, 5 – 6pm
Enjoy a mince pie and carols as we make Christingles together. We will take an offering for the Children’s Society.
Friday 25th December—Christmas Day Gathering, 10—11am
Celebrate Christmas Day with carols, fun and communion.
All ages welcome at each of these gatherings. We’d love you to join us!
Suddenly we’re in December! Advent seems to have come very quickly for me. One of the verses we will be chewing over the next few weeks comes from the prophecies of Isaiah: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”
That is the promise of Advent and Christmas. That Jesus our light has dawned and so we can walk by his light – no matter how hard and dark things seem.
Enjoy the light
Over the next few weeks make some time for yourself to encounter Jesus’ light afresh. It has been good to hear some of Renovate’s plans to do this as a community. They are each taking a candle and lighting it each day. While it burns they are doing something that will draw them closer to God. How might you and your community enjoy the light this Advent and Christmas?
Shout about the light
We want to encourage others to journey with Kairos this Christmas. Let’s make the most of this time to be able to tell people again why Jesus coming is good news! There are three different whole church gatherings that you could bring friends along to: Simply Christmas, A Christingle on Christmas Eve and our Christmas Day celebration. We’d love you to join us at these and we’d love you to invite family and friends along to them as well.
Be the light!
It’s so exciting to hear about some of the plans MSCs are making for Christmas mission this year. I’ve heard rumours of carol singing and mulled wine on people’s roads, gift giving to local charities, parties and socials to invite friends to. What are you planning as an MSC? We’d love you to tell us so we can pass the news on.
Have a brilliant Advent! Ben.
Almost Advent – Up, In, Out
The fog has been clinging to Harrogate for a few days, the Christmas market has arrived for the weekend and the sun is starting setting around 3pm: we’re about to enter Advent! At this time of the year I try and have a think about how I can make the most of the next few weeks, in my own discipleship.
We talk about discipleship having upward, inward and outward dimensions. Here are a few ideas to help you and your community be a bit more intentional about these things this year.
Advent is a great time to do something a little differently and create some freshness in your relationship with God. 24-7 Prayer are running a series of daily podcasts – these are great reflections and prompts to pray. Perhaps you could try and watch these as a community, you can see a trailer here. Last year I enjoyed reading “Haphazard by Starlight” a book of poems and reflections to help prompt prayer, I’ll be dipping into it this time round again. I also remember finding the 9am Communion very special during advent, we make a few seasonal changes and I found it a very helpful bit of space for simple prayer. Those are things that fit my tastes and preferences, what could you and your community do to focus on God a little more this December?
Oikos is for life, and that includes Christmas! As December goes on It can sometimes be tempting to focus entirely on nuclear/traditional family. In some ways that is natural but if you want your MSC to function like extended family then include it in your Christmas! We’ve been developing a family tradition of Advent Tea over the last few years, on the first Sunday of Advent we eat nice food, put on some Christmassy music and get excited about the next few weeks together. This year we’re trying to open that up to Ohana, our community. What family traditions or activities could you do as an MSC?
Christmas is a gift for those of us who are looking to tell God’s story, people are just naturally interested! What could your community do that you could invite friends and people of peace along to? It’s also a time when the needs of people around us could become a bit more apparent, is there a way you could serve others in Harrogate or further afield with time, effort or money over the next few weeks.
Let us know what you decide to do as a community, we really want to share what you are up to this Advent! You can easily share information or testimonies with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
One great place where you can do Up, In and Out together with the wider Kairos family will be Simply Christmas. Do come along and invite friends, look out for a flyer for more details. If you would like to help make Simply… happen then get in touch with Pippa.
Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday at 7:30pm for our Leaders Training Evening. Rich Robinson will be with us exploring how to help your community use social and personal space well.
Have a great weekend, Ben.
The Christmas Star image came from CreationSwap.