Welcome and thank you for joining me as we hear and see the Christmas story at https://youtu.be/hQg2Y9Qrj5A. The posters were prepared for us by Peter Featherstone.
Let us pray. We gather in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Lord our God, with the birth of Jesus, your glory breaks into the world. We give you thanks as we hear once more the story of your loving purposes brought to us by the Holy Child. Amen
Readings: Our story begins with a prophecy - Isaiah 9 v2&6. It continues in the Gospel of Luke: Luke 1 v26-38 and Luke 2 v1-16. It concludes with a reading from the Gospel of John: John 1 v1-5 & 10-14.
A story for Christmas: In a room in heaven there were four candles. Now, what you may not know about heavenly candles is that they burn with the oil of worship. On the day in question, the 4 candles were burning to the glory of God and the ambiance was so soft that you could hear them talking. The first one said, “I am PEACE, however as the world is devoid of peace between heaven and earth - I believe I will go out.” Soon after this, the flame of Peace rapidly diminished and the candle went out. The second one said, “I am FAITH. However as so few people believe in God - I am afraid that I will go out.” Soon after this, a breeze of disbelief rolled in and blew out the flame of Faith. The third candle said “I am LOVE. But there is so little love in the world for God and humanity - that I have insufficient strength to stay lit”. And, with a sigh of sadness, the candle of Love went out. Just then, a child entered the room and saw that three of the four candles were not burning. The child said to the three unlit candles: “Why are you not burning - for you are supposed to stay lit until the end of all time?”
Then the fourth candle spoke up and said, “Don’t be afraid for I am HOPE and even in the darkest of time my flame stays alight in the smouldering embers of desolation. And, my flame will burst into flame at the smallest sign that things can be better”. Then with my flame of Hope you dear child can help me to re-light the other candles of Peace, Faith and Love. With shining eyes and a deep joy of spirit, the child took the candle of Hope and lit the other 3 candles. Then set off on the journey as the Fathers’ only son – to bring the flame of hope to the world. Today, as we recall the Christmas story - let the flame of Hope burn bright in your life because by its light we keep alight FAITH, PEACE and LOVE. Author Unknown
Closing prayer: May the Light of God - Lead you; May the Power of God - Hold you; May the Joy of God - Heal you; May the Love of God – Cradle you; May the Laughter of God - Bless you. Now and always. AMEN
Dismissal: Jesus is the light of the world. As you go, carry the Christ-light to all that you meet.