The final Sunday of 2017 began with a meeting led by Major Karen Smith.
Following a theme around the thought of rejoicing she began with the carol ‘Joy to the world’ and followed it with prayer and scripture from Luke 2:21-40, recording the meeting of Simeon with Jesus in the Temple.
The chorus ‘Rejoice in the Lord always’ was sung as a round introducing the time for the children. Major Karen’s box made an appearance (although a different one and after a gap of some months!) and Mia helped her to discover its contents. In it was a brand new SatNav and Major Karen used this to demonstrate how we need to know where we are going in life and how we need to prepare before our journey with God.
The Singing Company (children’s choir) was unable to take its usual spot in the meeting due to so many of the children being away so Mia continued to help by singing a verse of her favourite carol, ‘Away in a manger’.
The theme of rejoicing was continued with verse one of the song ‘This is the day’ before a time of personal testimony was introduced in which three people took part. This was a very challenging time as we listened to people who wanted to do more for Jesus in the coming year. The ministry from the Songsters (adult choir) was ,n this occasion enhanced by the addition of volunteers who were encouraged to join in as so many were away). The song chosen was was ‘Come into our world’.
Major Karen delivered her message on the theme of ‘not a a bad way to begin…..’ saying (summarised):
As we read the Christmas story we realise that Mary and Joseph were totally obedient to God throughout. This is not a bad way to begin. In the first forty days of Jesus’ life they did four things.
- On the eighth day they named him Jesus (Saviour) as they were instructed even before Mary conceived. When we do what God wants it binds us closer to Jesus and one another. This creates a special community comprising special people. This is not a bad way to begin.
- Mary and Joseph made Jesus part of the family of God. We must ask ourselves if we make those whom God has given us part of the family of Jesus and do we care for them as we should? Thus also will bind us closer to God and to each other. This is not a bad way to begin.
- Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to God at the Temple as scripture tells us was required. By this act they recognised that Jesus was not their child but God’s and they undertook to raise him as such. Do we give first to God? Our hopes and our dreams belong to him. This is not a bad way to begin.
- Mary made the required sacrifice, in this case two doves. By so doing she and Joseph showed themselves to be seekers of holiness. We, too, need to hold on to the desire to live perfectly with God. This is not a bad way to begin.
They named him as instructed, made him part of the family of God, placed him in God’s care and sought holiness. All these things show him and them to be set apart for God. As we care for those around us, will we do what Mary and Joseph did? Begin with what should always come first and ask God to lead us into the future.
The song ‘Light of the world’ gave time for reflection and the meeting concluded with ‘To God be the glory’
Later in the day a number of New Year’s Eve activities took place including a presentation from the ‘Youff‘ (songs from the shows) and an eleven o’clock meeting to see in the New Year. Here are some pictures from the excellent hour spent enjoying the Youff performance.
All that remains for us to do now is to wish all our readers a very happy New Year and to thank everyone for their support in visiting this website, whether it be often or seldom. We hope to see you all again during 2018.