Greetings from our interim moderator.

Christmas is not cancelled as some may be trying to tell us. Christmas is coming – which is one of the many Carols we do normally like singing in Church at this time, as we light the advent candles that brightly burn in a ring. Although this year will of course be different!

I am sure those of you who have been able to be back in Church these past few weeks have enjoyed seeing people again, a little differently yes, but being part of the worshipping fellowship is something that many have missed, even if you are not permitted to sing at present, which for me is a huge part of worship in Church – I just love singing.

One of the songs which we may hear if we are able to do any shopping is one that the  folks here at the Newtown Community Choir sing – the John Lennon song – ‘And so this is Christmas’, the line going on to say ‘and what have you done, another year over and a new one just begun’, which is a bit confusing as the new year does not begin until a week after Christmas, but for this year, the part that rings bells for me, is ‘and what have you done’, as we do come to the end of this year, how has this year been different for us. It is hard to comprehend that this year has been so different. I think about all the new things that we have learnt from the Springtime and the seasons that have come and gone. We have been fortunate that for a good part of lockdown, those of us who were able to go out managed to, and were amazed at the beauty of nature which seemed to flourish as all around was so quiet. There was a peacefulness, as people were not dashing around, in a hurry to get to and from places.  The time has gone quite quickly, and now it is Christmas. I am not sure as I write what kind of Christmas it will be, but one thing I am sure about is that it will be remembered. I wonder though if the reason we celebrate will be at the forefront or whether it will be the restrictions that are part of our lives that we remember mostly. Of course Christmas is about more than the tinsel and the lights we see around, it is the very down to earth story of the birth of Jesus, God’s Son, and that will never change. The festivities, the services will be different, but the mystery of God Incarnate, God Emmanuel will be there for us, a timeless message of hope, of love. We may be facing a bleak mid-winter, and frosty winds may blow, but we will also find joy in the lights and the songs and in caring for one another this Christmas.

At the recent meeting of the Kirk Session, the Session decided that the Sunday Services planned this year will go ahead, but that there will be no service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day

For the Sunday’s in Advent our services are as follows:

Sunday 6th December – Channelkirk

Sunday 13th December – Lauder

Sunday 20th December – Channelkirk

Sunday 27th December – Lauder

And you can book your place at the services by calling Billy on a Friday evening on 01578 722848 or 07384 720245.

However, I am planning to have a Christingle Service via Zoom on the 24th December and you are welcome to join the Zoom link at 3.45pm for our service beginning at 4.00pm where as we make our Christingles we shall hear the story of Jesus birth, and even sing some Carols, which we are not permitted to do in Church. The ID and Passcode are:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84038169762?pwd=Qk1zbmdpWmt1S1BNWnVCOGhLUjg4dz09

Meeting ID: 840 3816 9762     Passcode: 322937

And on Christmas Day, in the comfort of your own home, and you can even come in your PJ’s, join us on this special day, show off some of your presents and gifts that were under your tree for a short family service on Zoom as follows:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83978272445?pwd=N2o0SEFtdm9aZ0FPcGFtVmpyWG42UT09

Meeting ID: 839 7827 2445    Passcode: 331175

I wish you all a very blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year and look forward to meeting you all once again in a more normal way when the restrictions are lifted. Please take care and keep being kind to one another.

Shalom      Sheila

 

Advent, which begins four weeks before Christmas, is a great time  for  all  Christians

as  we  prepare  to  celebrate  the  Birth  of   Jesus  Christ  our  Lord  and  Saviour..  Advent  has  three  meanings,  firstly,  it is looking  forward  to  the  Birth  of  Christ,  secondly

it  is  about  Christ  coming  into our lives  and

thirdly  it  is  when  we   reflect  on  Christ  returning  to  the  world  as  King  and  Judge.

 

During  this  period  an  Advent  Wreath  is  placed  in  Churches  with  five  candles, one  for each  of  the  four  Sundays  and  one, in the centre,  representing  Christ.

There  is  a  variation  in  the  themes  for  each   of  the  four Advent  Sundays

and  in  the colour  of  candles for  the  themes.. The first  theme  which  we  consider is HOPE, associated with the Prophet  Isaiah

who  forecast  the  birth  of  Jesus, ( Isaiah  chapter  7.  Verse 14 ). A  purple  coloured  candle,  the  candle  of  HOPE  is  the  first  one  which  lit in

confident expectation  of  what  God  has  promised..  The ancient  hymn  expresses it well

” All my hope on God is founded. ‘Without hope we have nothing, with hope  we  have

everything..

 

 

This year Advent Sunday  was  marked  in  Churches on  29th November.

Back then, on the following  day, Andrew the fisherman, the  first  called  disciple  of  Jesus,

was crucified  in  Greece,  tied  on  an  ‘X’    shaped  cross.  Saint Andrew was the brother of  Saint  Peter.
It  is  the  tradition  in  many  churches  that  the  second  Sunday in Advent (6.12.2020)

is held as Bible Sunday when we  give  thanks  to  God  for  the  gift  of  His  Word  in  the Bible. Christians  believe  that  through  the  Bible  God  has  spoken  to  all  people

 

On  the second  Sunday  of  Advent  the  candle  we  light  symbolises LOVE,

”That  love  that  will  not  let  me  go  ”

 

In  earlier  days  when  the  Prophets,  gave  their  message  they  were  saying

‘This  Word  does  not  come  from  me’. God  is  a  God  who  has  made  His  will  and  His  ways  known:  He  is  not  a  distant,      silent  God.  Christ  goes  further  than  that.  Not  only  have  lawgivers  and  rulers  and       prophets  spoken  a  word  which  came  from  God,  we  believe   that  in  Jesus  Christ        ‘ the  Word  became  flesh  and  dwelt  among  us’. God  has  spoken  to  us  by  revealing   himself  in  a  person,  In  Jesus  Christ  God  has   shown  us  His love  and His  power  and  His  forgiveness  and  the  hope  of  everlasting

life.