Shipley Church Self-Service
Sunday 20th December 2020
Thought for Christmas Week – The angel visits Mary and foretells the birth of Jesus
The Son of God was born into the world, after a young Galilean girl risked everything by giving her consent to what the angel proposed (Luke 1: 26-38). Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but not yet married. The apprehension she experienced at the news from the Angel Gabriel that she would conceive through the power of the Holy Spirit and without a human father - “Mary was deeply troubled” - was because of Jewish law that would have brought humiliation and shame upon her if she wasn’t believed. But she obeyed the Lord, and marvelled that she had been chosen to give birth to the Messiah.
Her subsequent outpouring of praise, joy, and trust in God – known as the Magnificat – could be described as the origin of all Christmas carols that have followed.
Our own Carol Service is traditionally held on the Sunday nearest to Christmas Day, and will often include the carol, “Gabriel’s Message” which follows:
Carol for the Day
The Angel Gabriel from heaven came,
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favoured lady, Gloria!”
Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say,
“Most highly favoured lady, Gloria!”
Prayer for Today
Jesus Christ, thou child so wise, bless mine hands and fill mine eyes, and bring my soul to Paradise.
Note: The Gospel and Readings set for today can be downloaded from the top right of this page.