Sunday 20 December Virtual Service Hello everyone
 It’s the fourth Sunday of Advent. The fourth candle on the Advent wreath represents Mary. This is the prayer I used this week:

Lord Jesus, Light of the world,
blessed is Gabriel who brought good news;
blessed is Mary – your mother and ours.
Bless your Church preparing for Christmas.  Amen.

Jonathan sets us some homework in his sermon today to read through Luke’s Gospel with an eye out for all who positively respond to Christ. Jonathan encourages us to think of Mary’s own positive “yes” to Christ. We ask God to help us to say “so be it” with Mary (Luke 1.38) and to respond positively to his call, even when that call is, as it was for Mary, demanding and beyond our comprehension. 

As with the Advent tradition of listening to Handel’s Messiah the Nine Lessons and Carols service included in this mailing gives us an opportunity to claim God’s salvation history – the story of God coming to redeem his people – as our story too: God speaking into our history, our context, our need of deliverance.
As the lessons unfold and the carols beckon us towards the new-born child in the manger Mary’s experience is made universal, that every Church “becomes Bethlehem” at Christmas:

I open the stable door
I kneel before the infant
I worship with the shepherds
I adore the Christ Child
I ponder the Word made flesh
I absorb the love of God
I give glory with the angels
I receive the living Lord
I hold him in my hands
I go on my way rejoicing
Glorifying and praising God.

Click on Jonathan’s Picture to See his Sermon
Virtual Service 20 December