Advent Reader - 2021

1 December - A light has dawned
1st December 2021
Isaiah 9:1-7
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.


A light has dawned

After Isaiah has faithfully pronounced his message of impending judgment from God, for the nation’s idolatry and sin, comes this wonderful and uplifting passage full of hope and encouragement. It really does stand out like a beacon of light.


“Nevertheless” conveys the meaning that despite their failures, God still loved His people and was working behind the scenes on their behalf.


When we think back to last year, around this time there was much “gloom” and “distress”. Life as we knew it had changed dramatically. We were made to realise the things that were really important and that the things we thought we needed didn’t really matter at all.


There were headlines like “Christmas is cancelled!” But that could only refer to the man-made idea of Christmas. The true meaning of Christmas that “a light has dawned” and “to us a Son is given” still stands unchangeable today. That Jesus humbled Himself to come as a baby to show us the way to God is still our “beacon of light”.


May the knowledge that God loves us so much “He gave His only Son” fill us with a fresh sense of hope and be our reason for rejoicing this Christmas. May we truly have:


“The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)



Arthur and Violet Wintour 


2 December - Bread and Fruit
2nd December 2021
Micah 5:1-5a

Marshal your troops now, city of troops,
    for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel’s ruler
    on the cheek with a rod.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”

Therefore Israel will be abandoned
    until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
    to join the Israelites.

He will stand and shepherd his flock
    in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
    will reach to the ends of the earth.

And he will be our peace
    when the Assyrians invade our land
    and march through our fortresses.


Bread and Fruit

The word Ephrathah – the old name for Bethlehem - means “Fruitfulness”, and the word Bethlehem means “House of Bread”, the implication being that the town would provide those who dwelt within it an abundance of all they needed to thrive. (Or at least that was the hope of those who chose the names!).


Little did the founders realise that out of this little town would come the Bread of Life, the Lord Jesus. It is out of His abundant blessing, and only this, that you and I can ever hope to bear fruit.


“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)


As we go into the day ahead, we would do well to remember that whatever fruit of the spirit we might hope to bear today, it can only come from the Bread of Life, who gives life to the world.


Ken Knowles


3 December - Saved to Light Up
3rd December 2021
Isaiah 42:1-9

42 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
    or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
    who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
    who gives breath to its people,
    and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
    I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people
    and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

“I am the Lord; that is my name!
    I will not yield my glory to another
    or my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place,
    and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
    I announce them to you.”


Saved to Light Up

This passage is full of hope and salvation!


The message came to an ancient people who were suffering in exile, and points to a Saviour who will bring justice. Justice not only for the people of Israel, but for all. We know that the verses point to Jesus – the One who is the “Light of the World” (John 8:12) and who came to “seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).


As you read these verses look out for all the positive aspects of Jesus' character and ministry…


He brings delight to God; He brings justice; He is meek (not weak!), gentle and caring; He is faithful and persistent; the object of Hope; He opens eyes, releases from captivity, and brings light ….


We are also challenged that those who are saved are saved to “be a light for the Gentiles” (verse 6).


Jesus calls us into righteousness, takes hold of our lives, saves us, and keeps us so we can light up the world and let people see Him!


Give thanks that Jesus has a servant heart, that He cares for the broken and captured, and that He has the power to shine light into the deepest, darkest places.


Pray that you would embrace His call to light up the world around you!



Ewen McDonald


4 December - God's Plans Prevail
4th December 2021
Matthew 1:1-17
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac,

Isaac the father of Jacob,

Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,

Perez the father of Hezron,

Hezron the father of Ram,

Ram the father of Amminadab,

Amminadab the father of Nahshon,

Nahshon the father of Salmon,

Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,

Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,

Obed the father of Jesse,

and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,

Solomon the father of Rehoboam,

Rehoboam the father of Abijah,

Abijah the father of Asa,

Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,

Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,

Jehoram the father of Uzziah,

Uzziah the father of Jotham,

Jotham the father of Ahaz,

Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,

10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,

Manasseh the father of Amon,

Amon the father of Josiah,

11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

12 After the exile to Babylon:

Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,

Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,

13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,

Abihud the father of Eliakim,

Eliakim the father of Azor,

14 Azor the father of Zadok,

Zadok the father of Akim,

Akim the father of Elihud,

15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,

Eleazar the father of Matthan,

Matthan the father of Jacob,

16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.


God's plans prevail


If you skipped straight to the reflection on this one, that’s not fair! I had to read this, so you do too.  Read it slowly.  Let the names and the stories that you’re familiar with come back to you.  These names echo of God’s promises, His faithfulness and His grace.  They tell us that God’s purposes prevail through unexpected people, and in spite of those who would seek to thwart them. 


The godly and the wicked kings of the Old Testament are listed alongside each other here, and yet God’s plans prevail. We can consider the lives full of trial and tribulation lived by the women included here – Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba (the record in this genealogy holding that the latter was the wife of Uriah rather than David).  A whole list of lives that didn’t run smoothly, and were rarely lived Godly, and yet God’s plan prevails.


I wonder if it’s not just the names we tend to skip over.  Go back and re-read the very first verse…

“This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the Son of David, the Son of Abraham”.  In the very first verse, we have the extraordinary claim that Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed One in the line of King David, the promised One that would bless all nations.  Matthew will go on in his gospel to tell us what Jesus did for us, but his starting point is on who He is.


Maybe this year you reflect on a year full of trial and tribulation, that hasn’t gone smoothly, and maybe hasn’t been lived godly.  God’s purposes, faithfulness and grace prevails.  The Messiah still came, still lived, still died for our sins, still rose again, is still reigning with God on high.  God’s plan still prevailed. 


Ken and Annemarie Douglas

5 December - God of wonders
5th December 2021
Luke 1:5-25
The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”


God of Wonders

Are you surprised that Zechariah asks in verse 18 “How can I be sure of this?” (NIV); or as The Message puts it “Do you expect me to believe this?” The angel Gabriel has told Zechariah that God has heard his prayer. That in itself is reassuring and a reminder of God wanting us to pray about everything.


Zechariah has also been told by Gabriel that in their old age Elizabeth and he will have a son, to be called John. Then even more is revealed about the special role for their son, whom we know as John the Baptist. He would be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth and would prepare people for the coming Messiah - Jesus, the Saviour of the world.


This is all part of God’s amazing plan unfolding in a way that Zechariah initially doubts. So, what about us? How often do we have doubts when we don’t understand what is happening? Do we trust God, and in faith remember He can do what may seem impossible to us?


Verse 25 at the end of this section is so encouraging where we are told Elizabeth said, “The Lord has done this for me”. Hold on to the fact that God is always at work – then and now!


Our God is a great big God….

He’s known me and He’s loved me

Since before the world began

How wonderful to be a part of

God’s amazing plan.


Great Big God

(Nigel & Jo Hemming, 2001)



Fiona McPhail


6 December - "Greetings O favoured one, the Lord is with you."
6th December 2021
Luke 1:26-30
The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.


"Greetings O favoured one, the Lord is with you."

Imagine being greeted like this by an angel sent by God! I understand Mary’s reaction (verse 29). What had she done to be “highly favoured” (NIV) by the Most High God? Nothing that we know of. Who was she? Mary was from Nazareth and engaged to be married. She was a poor young virgin, the kind of person her peers would have thought unfit to be used by God for such an important task. Surprisingly, she was chosen by God and received His unmerited “favour” (literally translated “grace”). She was not chosen for her merit or her good qualities. The other description in verse 30 makes it clear that God has acted on her behalf and not because of her. Mary is indeed blessed, honoured by God as future mother of the long-awaited Messiah! The added statement “The Lord is with you” must have been a comfort to Mary, especially as we know the difficulties that will follow.  


How does God see us? Scripture assures us that in Christ, we are chosen, adopted into His family, redeemed…and all this thanks to His undeserved grace. Did you know that God delights in you and me (Isaiah 62:4), that He is for us (Romans 8:31) and is Immanuel, God with us (Zephaniah 3:17)?  


“Greetings [your name],  

O favoured one, the Lord is with you!” 


Let these words from Luke be a comfort to us all this Christmas, wherever we are and however we may feel.     



Susan Gnadou Zabo


7 December - God's words can be trusted
7th December 2021
Luke 1:31-33
31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”


God's words can be trusted


These three verses have lots in them! Lots of details, lots of names, lots of history, lots of promises.


But as well as speaking about names and history of the past, these verses are also a picture of the future: Mary is going to give birth to Jesus, the Saviour of the world.


These verses are all about what will happen. The word “will” is used throughout the passage and is very commanding: this shows that God wants this to happen. It’s also very specific – Mary will not just have a baby, but a son, and the name He is to be given is “Jesus”. 


What the angel says to Mary is very surprising. Mary is a poor teenager, and yet God says she will give birth to a king, who will be called the Son of God, and who will rule over all Israel.


This Christmas, it is wonderful that God knows our past and makes promises for our future. God is a God who still speaks to us, about the details of our lives, and God’s words can be trusted and always come true. We may feel overlooked, but just as God included a poor teenager in His plans, so He includes us today. Will we listen for His voice and trust what He says today?



Adrian, Karen, Alasdair and Kate Armstrong

8 December - Nothing is impossible with God
8th December 2021
Luke 1:34-37
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

Nothing is impossible with God

Mary is visited by an angel who tells her that she has found favour with God and that she will bear a child who will be the Son of God and King of Israel. Luke tells us that Mary was troubled and perplexed. However, the teenager asks a simple but profound question “How can this be?”


This was the same question asked by Zechariah. His question was expressed in sceptical unbelief, and he asked for a sign as tangible proof that the angel was telling the truth, while Mary simply asked for an explanation.


Mary knew she was a virgin and therefore could rightly ask, How can this be? But her question may describe more:

How can this be, for I am plain and ordinary?

How can this be, I don’t know anything about raising a King?

How can this be, I am mortal?


Gabriel replies, describing the work of the Holy Spirit and then repeats his promise that her child will be Holy and will be named as God’s own Son. What follows is further assurance that even Mary’s relative Elizabeth is pregnant. Mary knows that Elizabeth is old, much too old to bear a child. But, if an old barren woman can conceive, then so also a young virgin.


“For nothing is impossible with God”. The point is clear. God will absolutely perform what He has said. What a promise for us to rely on as we journey in faith through life with Him.



Rowan Parks


9 December - For nothing is impossible with God
9th December 2021
Luke 1:38-45
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”


For nothing is impossible with God

Following her astonishing encounter with Gabriel, Mary hurries to go and visit Elizabeth. She must have been excited to see her previously barren relative now a mum-to-be (and to see for herself that what the angel said was true). She may also have been quite apprehensive, as an unmarried young girl, about how exactly to tell Elizabeth the amazing news about her own miraculous pregnancy. Did she wonder what kind of reception she would receive, perhaps rehearsing the conversation in her head as she travelled there?


The meeting between the two kinswomen (and also the first meeting between John and Jesus, while both are still in the womb) is extremely touching. There is no judgement or rejection from Mary’s older relative – which might have been expected – in fact Elizabeth’s reaction is quite the opposite. Mary doesn’t have to tell her anything. The Holy Spirit is at work and gives Elizabeth divine insight to understand what Mary hasn’t yet said, and what wouldn’t yet be visible to the eye. That little room in the hill country of Judah becomes a place where the veil between this world and the eternal one is thin, as Elizabeth recognises and proclaims that Mary is going to be mother to the promised Messiah.


This passage is book-ended by statements from both women acknowledging their belief that God is able to do what He promises. Two lowly women willing to say yes to God.  This Christmas, are you willing to trust in God’s promises and submit yourself gladly to His plans for your life? Will you to hurry, like Mary, to tell someone the amazing news about the baby who came to save the world?


Sandra Lindsay


10 December - God is with us
10th December 2021
Isaiah 7:14
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.


God is with us

Do you ever wonder if God is with you?  The last two years have been unprecedented for all of us.  Some of us may have asked: Where is God?  Life as we once knew it has changed, and some of us may wonder if we will ever get back to 'normal'.  But what is normal?  A virgin conceiving a child, is certainly not normal, but God used this to give His people a sign.  There are many examples in the Bible where God gives His people a sign to encourage them, to direct them, or to show them that He is with them.  Think of the three wise men: the Lord gave them the Star of Bethlehem to show them that Jesus had been born.  Jesus, also called Immanuel, God with us, was born in human form, He died and rose again to take away our sins.  Yet He left the Holy Spirit here on earth to be our guide and comforter.  So, this Christmas as we remember what Jesus has done for us, know even if you don’t always feel that God is with you, that through the Holy Spirit, God is always with you, Immanuel, God with us.


Jennie Chinembiri


11 December - Sing like Mary this Christmas
11th December 2021
Luke 1:46-56
Mary’s Song

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.


Sing like Mary this Christmas

Consider everything Mary has experienced…her astounding visitation by the angel, Gabriel…the incredible revelation of her miraculous conception of the Son of the Most High God…her formerly barren cousin, Elizabeth, amazingly bearing a child in her old age…and the beautiful affirmation Elizabeth gave Mary. 


Who can fathom Mary’s joy and awe at the Lord in all these things? Known as her Song of Praise or Magnificat, Mary’s heart bursts forth with praise and rejoicing for God, her Saviour. That the Lord would, of all women, look upon Mary’s humble estate and bless her with the honour coveted by the daughters of Israel. Of course, all generations will call her blessed. 


Yes, the world expects that only those of prominent position, those of mightier stature should be selected for the highest honours. God, rather, abhors the proud and those mighty in their own eyes, but He exalts the humble and lowly. His mercy is toward those who fear Him. The blessing granted to Mary, was not for her achievements. It was an ancient promise fulfilled…an act of profound mercy from God toward His people, Israel…toward the world…through this humble maiden.  


The same mercy that granted Mary the privilege of being the mother of her Saviour, is extended to all who, like her, recognise their own need of this promised Saviour, who saves us from our sin. If we pause to contemplate His mercy this season, perhaps our own hearts will burst forth with joyful praise and sing gratefully to God for sending us His Son. 


Ryan and Clare McKernan


12 December - Jesus, Messiah, God with us
12th December 2021
Matthew 1:18-25
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.


Jesus, Messiah, God with us

In these eight verses, we have the culmination of Old Testament prophecy, the birth of a Messiah, the hope of salvation and God coming to earth.  But at a more human level, we also have a man and a woman obedient to the most surprising calls of God on their lives.


Some Bible versions entitle this section ‘Joseph accepts Jesus as his son’.  We know from the family tree that Joseph was the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  He had no part in the conception, but as we read of his encounter with the angel of the Lord, we admire his obedience.  And when the baby was born, we see it was Joseph who gave Him the name Jesus.


These verses record three names given to God’s Son. 


Firstly, verse 18 refers to Jesus the Messiah.  The Messiah is the Son of David, an anointed leader expected to bring in an age of peace and liberty from all oppression. In the New Testament, the Messiah is Jesus, who came first to bring liberty from sin and peace with God and who will come again to bring all things under His control.


Secondly, the name Jesus noted in verse 21 means Saviour and comes from the Hebrew name Joshua.  He would be called Jesus because He would save His people from their sins.  Looking back, we now know how this would come about, but I wonder how the people would have thought about it then.


Finally, verse 23 gives Him the name Immanuel, which means God with us, as prophesied by Isaiah 700 years earlier.


And so, God comes to earth in human form to undertake an amazing rescue mission to save us from our sins, to give us hope that we could never give ourselves, and to give us the promise of eternal life in God’s presence.  Are you enjoying that salvation and hope this Christmas?



Alan Paterson



13 December - An emotional Christmas
13th December 2021
Luke 1: 57-66
The Birth of John the Baptist

57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”

61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.


An emotional Christmas


This passage takes us on an emotional journey.


Firstly, we encounter a lot of joy (verse 58): the joy of shame removed; the joy of anticipation becoming reality with the birth of a baby; and the joy of a man previously silenced, speaking once again. The joy is not just personally felt by Elizabeth, but her neighbours and relatives share the joy of the occasion. The name ‘John’ means: God is gracious, and it is God’s grace which brings joy to everyone in this passage.


Joy is then replaced by confusion (verse 61). Why not name the child after the father according to tradition? In order to honour the Lord, sometimes He leads us to do counter-intuitive or surprising things which can only be explained in terms of us obeying God’s commands.


Fear follows (verse 65), and contrasts with the earlier joy. Perhaps we can imagine the pace of events slowing down as Zechariah, with some drama, purposefully and deliberately scratches out, “His name is John”, on his writing tablet. Zechariah, who was rendered silent by his initial scepticism of God’s Word, suddenly speaks, now with believing voice, he blesses God.  


Finally, fear becomes anticipation (verse 66). God is on the move. Likewise, Christmas is anticipated by many, a time of communal joy. May this Christmas be an opportunity to give voice in song and personal testimony to our belief in God and His grace by sending His Son to save us.





14 December - A Father's song of praise
14th December 2021
Luke 1:67-80
Zechariah’s Song

67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
    and to remember his holy covenant,
73     the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
    and to enable us to serve him without fear
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.


A Father's song of praise


What a wonderful passage.   Zechariah’s astonishment that he would become a father has left him struck silent by Gabriel for months.  Only after Elizabeth, his wife, has given birth to their son John, is he able to speak again. 


And what words he speaks.  What a song of joy and worship as he sings and praises God.  You can hear that he is bursting with excitement at the birth of his son. But we also hear his joy at the goodness of God, as he recognises the impending birth of God’s Son, Jesus.


We recognise the words and phrases he uses; many of these, drawn from the Book of Isaiah and from the Psalms, foretelling the Good News of the coming of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world.


What are we like when we hear thrilling news?  We can’t wait to share it and to pass on our joy and excitement with those around us, our family and our friends.  As we draw close to Christmas once again this year, and as we seek to celebrate the birth of Jesus, may we be filled with the joy that filled Zechariah’s heart and voice.  May we continue to reflect on God’s tender mercy as celebrate these glad tidings of great joy!



Neil Main


15 December - Complete Sovereignty
15th December 2021
Luke 2:1-7
The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.


Complete Sovereignty

When I read these verses, I think about the mightiest empire in the ancient world, shifting heaven and earth, to try to estimate, count and quantify all those they controlled. Amidst all this and in complete contrast in method and motive, the Lord set in motion His own plan to give hope to all men.

Even the mighty Roman Empire, flexing its power and control over its millions of subjects for the census was only a footnote in God’s plan. Joseph and Mary returned to Bethlehem, where King David had been born and now Jesus, the Messiah was born.

The Light of the World was sent down into darkness, God’s own Son Jesus – no great procession heralding the arrival of a warrior king. Instead, He was humbly born, a helpless babe ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…’

Jordan Snitch

16 December - Not just any choir
16th December 2021
Luke 2:8-21
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.


Not just any choir


What must it have been like for the shepherds? They see an angel and the glory of God shining around them, and hear the news that the Messiah has been born, in the nearby village of Bethlehem. While they are still taking this in, "a multitude of the heavenly host" appear. It is as though the glory and praise of God could not be contained in heaven, and spilled out onto the earth. What did it sound like? How did that music feel? 


I wonder what your favourite moment of worshipping God has been? At a concert with thousands of others? When God has really spoken to you through a familiar hymn? The first time singing with others after restrictions eased?  


I love singing, and often, I do not want these hilltop, heaven-breaking-through moments to end. But they do. They have to. The shepherds could not stay in the fields. They had to go and look for Jesus, so they could see Him, and praise God as a result. We must bring God our praise for all that He has done, but let us also go out, and glorify Him in the world. 



Fiona Reid

17 December - The journey of meaningful worship
17th December 2021
Matthew 2:1-12
The Magi Visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.


The journey of meaningful worship

In this very familiar Bible passage, there are five great truths that strike me:


  • Jesus is the Messiah and King of the Jews and should be honoured.
  • He is to be worshipped by everyone in the world, not the Jews alone.
  • This is God’s great intention and what He wants for His Son.
  • God orders the nations and whole universe for this purpose.
  • Jesus can be troubling to those who refuse to worship Him and often oppose Him.


The Magi are an excellent example of how Christ is to be worshipped.  Real worship is coming to see who He is personally and compellingly.


Everyone devotes their heart to something or someone in life, but only the worship of Jesus gives lasting joy and satisfaction.  The evidence of a heart and life brought to Jesus is often reflected in the gifts we offer Him.


As we join with the Magi in their journey, let’s go with them to find and worship the Christ Child.  We may not have gold, frankincense or myrrh to offer, but we have something far more precious and lasting – our very selves.



Robert Murray


18 December - Letting go
18th December 2021
Matthew 2:13-18
The Escape to Egypt

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
    weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.”


Letting go

In these verses we read immediately of how Jesus’ life is filled with suffering - the spiritual battle is underway and Mary and Joseph are on the run, as God informs them of the danger that Jesus is in. 


For Joseph it must have been very confusing. After all, probably the same angel had previously told Joseph that Mary was carrying the Saviour of the world (Matthew 1:20). If they physically have the Saviour of the world right there then why run? Why not put a stop to Herod’s plans right then?!


Instead, Mary and Joseph, remain faithful, obedient and completely dependent on God. They don’t stop to think of the personal cost, and they let go of their own desires, thoughts, feelings and emotions. They were poor, and the journey to Egypt through the night would be dangerous. They may not have received a warm welcome, and they had no idea of how long they would stay or what the outcome would be. 


In hindsight, their simple obedience played a part in the spiritual battle, fulfilling scripture and God’s great rescue plan for the world. What a thought!


How often can we say that we completely let go and trusted in God? Maybe there’s an area of our lives that we are finding it difficult to give over to God? It might be small but God could use it - in ways we could never (and may never) imagine. 


When we walk with the Lord in the light of His word, 

What a glory He sheds on our way,

While we do His good will, He abides with us still, 

And with all who will trust and obey. 


Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, 

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.



Andrew and Karen Sim        


19 December - From "Ceremonial but Ordinary" to "Extraordinary Revelation"
19th December 2021
Luke 2:22-40
Jesus Presented in the Temple

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
    you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.


From “Ceremonial but Ordinary” to “Extraordinary Revelation”.


The purification rites here are for mother rather than baby.


Like many poor Jewish women, Mary travelled to the temple to offer a sacrifice of a couple of birds (Leviticus 12:8); one for a burnt offering, the other for a sin offering for her own cleansing after the birth.


Maybe next in line was a lady feeling superior with her year-old lamb and dove; you had to be poor to be let off with a couple of birds after all.

Jesus, as Mary’s firstborn son, would be consecrated to the Lord. (Exodus 13:2)


In case the sleepless nights and nappy changes had let the messages of angels and shepherds fade in their minds, Mary and Joseph are intercepted by two people in the temple courts who make powerful declarations about the baby.


Simeon: righteous and devout, to whom God had revealed that before he died he would see the Lord’s Messiah, the One chosen for the consolation of Israel. What a declaration: Now I can die, knowing that I have seen Your salvation, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of God’s people, Israel. No wonder Mary and Joseph were astounded.


Anna, the prophetess, another very godly person comes forward and speaks about Jesus to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.


Recorded by Luke to reinforce to us, as it must have done to Mary and Joseph, that this was no ordinary baby; He was and remains God’s means of salvation.



Andrew and Christine Fairfield. 

20 December - Jesus of Nazareth
20th December 2021
Matthew 2:19-23
The Return to Nazareth

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.


Jesus of Nazareth


King Herod had launched the massacre of the innocents in an attempt to kill the infant Jesus, but the Holy Family, after being warned, are in Egypt. An Angel of the Lord appears in a dream to Joseph and brings him the news that King Herod, his persecutor, is dead. The Angel tells him to return to Israel. Joseph observed and obeyed the command and took the young child and His mother and left Egypt.


But when he heard that Archelaus, the son of Herod was his successor (a very cruel and wicked man like his father), Joseph was afraid to go to Judea so went to Galilee. Galilee was an obscure place, where Joseph thought they could live unobserved and free from danger. He came and settled in a city called Nazareth; this accomplished what had been foretold by the prophets. Although Christ was not born in Nazareth, but because He dwelt and was educated there, He became known as Jesus of Nazareth.


Joseph’s actions are an example of trust and obedience in God, travelling with a young child and His mother at a time when it was still extremely dangerous to do so. However, their faith is rewarded by God’s protection and provision for them. This Christmas let us celebrate the joy of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, and during recent times of uncertainty let us trust and obey the Lord, that He will protect and provide for us too.


Campbell and Alison Chalmers and family


21 December - Light of the world
21st December 2021
John 1:1-18
The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.


Light of the world

John’s words may be less obvious than the wonderful, traditional story of Christmas with Mary, angels, shepherds, manger and the birth of Jesus shared within Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels. Yet what a beautiful scripture full of God’s promise from the true beginning.  This passage is filled with uplifting words – grace, truth, glory, power.  But what truly resonates with me is the word “Light”.


“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (verse 5).  “The One who is the true light, who gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” (verse 9) 


Light is a powerful reference used throughout the Bible.   The term “light” is used 179 times in the Old Testament and 93 times in the New Testament. We associate darkness with loneliness, despair, death and fear but light with hope, tranquillity and life.  We are like flowers that will search for the light that we need, not just for survival, but to thrive and grow. 


When we consider the challenges that we have personally encountered over the past 20 months, and as we gradually re-open as a world, may we approach Christmas and reflect on John’s words that God’s promise was from the very beginning.  He sent the Light to us so that we can have eternal life.  May we remember that God is “the Light of the World. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness (John 8:12).   As we light the candles on the Sundays of Advent, let us consider what they represent:


  • The Candle of Hope.
  • The Candle of Peace.
  • The Candle of Love.
  • The Candle of Joy


Peace, love, joy and hope - are like a light shining in a dark place.



Stephen and Suzanne Connolly


22 December - "In the beginning God..." (Genesis 1:1)
22nd December 2021
Colossians 1:15-20
The Supremacy of the Son of God

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.


In the beginning God…(Genesis 1:1)


One of my favourite lines from a Christian song comes in Graham Kendrick’s “Servant King” where he wrote “Hands that flung stars into space, to cruel nails surrendered”.


This may seem an unusual song to quote at Christmas time as we reflect on the birth of the Lord Jesus. However, in those 2 simple lines of a song I am reminded of the eternal nature of Jesus as part of the Godhead, His creative power, His surrender on the cross and His redeeming work for mankind which was His choice, His plan and His will.


This passage also reminds me that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Jesus is the foundation of all things, He is at the centre of all things and He will be the fulfilment of all things when He returns.  The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation is always pointing to Jesus.


A while ago I read a book by Max Lucado entitled “It's Not About Me: Rescue from the life we thought would make us happy”.  I often have to remind myself that “it’s not about me”. To find real fulfilment, purpose and happiness in life - it’s all about Jesus. 


Let’s make this Christmas all about Jesus.


“I’m coming back to the heart of worship,

And it’s all about You, all about You, Jesus”

M Redman


John Mair

23 December - A life less ordinary
23rd December 2021
Luke 2: 29-30
39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.


A life less ordinary


These two verses in some senses don’t tell us very much about the little family that Jesus was a part of.  The gospel stories of His birth have given us different insights into the incredible truths of the incarnation.  Now it seems the normality of family life will be largely ignored by the gospel writers.  However, these verses do contain some interesting insights that are worth knowing and reflecting on.


The family have it seems returned from a refugee experience in Egypt and are going to set up home in Nazareth.  Joseph will establish his business, and Luke instead of telling us what was happening tells us what did happen, that in these early years Jesus grew; physically, intellectually, and in the relationship He had with God.


I’m sure these things were what His parents had prayed would happen, and perhaps in that there is the lesson for all Christian parents and grandparents.  We all want the children in our lives to grow strong, be healthy, to do well in education, but we must also pray that they would have a relationship with God that is touched and blessed by His favour, such that they know that their lives are built and depend on His grace in their lives.


David Knowles


24 December - Is Christmas cancelled?
24th December 2021
John 6:22-40
22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.

Jesus the Bread of Life

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”


Is Christmas cancelled?

Christmas is usually a time of abundance, and indulgence.  I suspect tomorrow won’t be the first Christmas dinner you’ve had this year.  There will be enough leftovers for turkey sandwiches and turkey curries for a good few days, and enough chocolate and cake to last you well into January.  If this was the full substance of our celebration at Christmas time then we might well have believed the headlines that Christmas could be cancelled, as a lack of foreign workers and HGV drivers is reflected in emptier shelves in the supermarket, and the idea of a COVID lockdown not ruled out by Boris loomed over us. 


However, when we read the Bible, we should know that Boris, Brexit and COVID don’t have the authority or power to cancel Christmas 2021, any more than Herod and his minions had the power to cancel it in the year 0000.  Jesus says in this passage “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”


The meaning of Christmas isn’t in the turkey, the trimmings, the trifle, or the decorations.  It’s not even in the presents.  Christmas is in the celebration of the “Bread of Life” and the “Bread of God”, a baby, who broke into this world to show us something of the character and nature of our God, and ultimately to show us His grace. It is the celebration over a meal, and with presents, and around family, of the best gift we could ever receive - God's love and grace and presence with us. Merry Christmas!



Annemarie Douglas