I hope you are enjoying the new church website, and have had a look around.
The website is not the only thing that’s new – I’m new too… :)
My name is Annmarie Miles. My husband Richard and myself have just joined the church, Richard is the new Pastor, and we’re looking forward to moving to Pontypool early in 2016.
It's an exciting time for us as we enter a new season in our lives and in the life of the church at Upper Trosnant. We look with great expectation to what God will do. And what better time to be 'expectant' than the season of Advent.
I wonder though, if we’ve come to expect very little from the season.
When it comes to Christmas, there is a lot of time spent preparing, buying, wrapping, decorating etc. Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE Christmas. If you came to my house and stood still long enough, I’d drape some tinsel over you. Sadly though, after Christmas you hear a lot of things like:
"yeah it was ok I suppose; quiet.”
“It’s only for the kids really isn’t it?”
“All that fuss, just for one day.”
It’s a far cry from the original glorious declaration of the angels.
“I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people."
When the angel told Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God, was this what she expected? Travelling for miles on a donkey, giving birth to her baby on the filthy floor of a smelly stable. Good news? Great joy? It can be hard to see it at first glance.
The Bible tells us that our faith should be childlike. The excitement and expectation of children at Christmas is wonderful to see. They are excited for presents and Santa, but there is so much more to be excited about.
What if we took their expectation and looked again at the stable scene. Shepherd's ran to the stable after the announcement of the angels. Kings from far away lands were aleady on their way with their gifts, led by a star. When they got there, they bowed down and worshipped him. They knew the eternal, life-changing significance of this poor homeless baby.
Do join us for our Christmas celebrations. We had a wonder fund Carol Service on Sunday afternoon. We'll meet at 10am on Christmas morning to celebrate the birth of the Saviour. Our regular services are each Sunday at 11am and 4pm. You'll always be welcome.
May God bless you and your family this Christmas. If this is a hard time for you and your family, I send tidings of comfort and joy. Remember that long after the season is over, the Star of Bethelehem will still be shining and the gift of Christmas is given all year around.
photo credits: Quilted Advent Calendar & Presepe in FIMO via photopin (license)