It’s the third Sunday of Advent. We are having our first Christingle service this afternoon, which will be an opportunity to welcome young families back to Church for the first time in a long time.
I am delighted that Paul Ayers, the Archdeacon of Leeds, is our virtual preacher today. Archdeacon Paul reflects on our Gospel reading that John the Baptist came as a witness to the light, the true light that was coming into the world (John 1. 7,9). The following prayer warms to that theme:
The candle burns brightly, the candle of peace
The star shines with radiance, the star of peace
The sun blazes with splendour, the sun of peace
But outshining all in glory, the Prince of Peace,
Jesus our Lord. Amen. (John Johansen-Berg)
As you can see from the videos we are sending out on social media the Church is now decorated for Christmas. A massive thank you to all those involved this week in decorating the Church with flowers and candles, crib scenes and Christmas tree. Christmas definitely isn’t cancelled this year.
Archdeacon Paul reminds us in his sermon today that Jesus Christ the true light speaks to our emotional darkness, our intellectual darkness, our moral darkness, our spiritual darkness, our social and political darkness, and our mortal darkness – on all these levels Jesus Christ speaks to us, “light and life to all he brings”.
In closing, a blessing of light:
Lord, be thou a bright flame before me
Be thou a guiding star above me,
Be thou a smooth path beneath me
Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me,
today, tonight, and always. Amen. (St Columba of Iona, 521-597)
Virtual Service 13 December