Matthew 1.23 — ‘Watch for this—a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son; They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”).’
We have goodnews to celebrate as we enter into this season of Advent and journey with the Holy Family towards Christmas. The goodnews is summed up in that one word: Immanuel – ‘God is with us’!
There can be nothing more amazing, more stunning than the goodnews that came to Mary and Joseph that, after all the years of waiting, the time had come for God to walk again with people. That the God who brought to birth the creation of the universe, was to enter into our world fully and be born in the same way we were, that we may know God is with us.
Throughout the years, since Adam and Eve first walked with God and found themselves estranged from their maker, so human hearts have yearned to
know God and to walk with God. Each one of us has within us a deep need to know God and yet, try as we may, God seems hidden from our souls. Throughout the story of Israel, God promises to be with his people;
as they flee from slavery in Egypt, as they enter the promised land, as they are exiled in Babylon; again and again God’s word of hope and assurance to each generation is ‘I am with you.’
At Christmas, the promise of Immanuel becomes flesh and blood. The need that each of us has, to know God and know that we are loved, is met in the birth and life of Jesus. John Wesley was right when he breathed his last words and said: ‘the best of all is, God is with us.’
Although our Christmas may take on a different shape this year, there will be plenty of opportunities for us, at KMC, to celebrate and worship together. The church itself will be open for prayer, with prayer stations on the theme of journeying to Bethlehem.
We are also hoping to offer opportunities for corporate worship and
details are elsewhere on this website; above all we want to recognise that Christ comes to us in our own homes.
Jesus wasn’t born in a church, but in a home setting and we can worship and celebrate Immanuel just where we are.
We will therefore be continuing with our Sunday services online which you can access via the church web site or on YouTube. In addition our Carol service (on pages 8 to 12) will be online at 6.30pm on 13th December, and available as a CD or DVD for those who would like it; please contact the
office for a copy.
We will also be live streaming some of our Christmas services via Facebook, for instance our Christingle service. If you use that technology, please ‘like’ our KMC Facebook page:
For families, we are creating ‘boxes of light’ with the Christmas story to enable worship at home. The Methodist Church has also partnered with Premier Christian radio and will be bringing ‘Carols on the
doorstep’ on Sunday 20th December at 5.30pm.
There will be many opportunities for us to celebrate Christmas, and to know, in our own lives, the joy of God’s peace and presence with us. We therefore pray the words of the advent carol together:
O come, O Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by your advent here;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death’s dark shadow put to flight:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel
(O Come O Come Emmanuel)
On behalf of Carol and myself, we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and every blessing for the New Year.
Rev Alan Bradley