This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term: Watch for this—a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son; They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”).
Matt 1:22-23 (Message)
Father God, life has not presented itself in a pretty package each day. But we know, you are with us. And we know you are on our side. How can we fail? Give us courage to take roads less travelled because we are part of your family and you are there.
Welcome to our Christmas Family service
After service tea hosts Warren and Vera
Organist: Joan McGowan
Sunday 25th December
10.00am Rev Richard Sharples
Vestry Steward – Elizabeth
Door Steward – Elizabeth
Sun 18th Christmas Tree Festival Llangollen 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Sun 18th Carol Service Ruabon 3.00pm
Sun 18th United Carol Service Llangollen Town Hall 6.00pm
Tue 20th Ruabon Coffee Morning at Llangollen 10.00am – noon
Wed 21st Midweek Communion at Regent Street 11.15am
Wed 28th “Time Out” a monthly reflective worship 2.00pm at the home of Barry and Angela Smith
Please pray for the following:
Keith and Myra Baugh
Pete and Ruby Kasprowicz
All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.
Meryl Thomas is organising a coach to Cliff College for the Festival on Bank Holiday Monday 29th May 2017. (See poster on the notice board). Please let Meryl know (01978 354721) by 7th January 2017 if you would like to go.
Our thanks to Alan and Joan McGowan for an excellent evening and to all who supported it. £275 was raised for church funds.
Blessed is He who comes
In Brazil I sat with a woman — a mother — on a bare hillside. She and her people have lost almost all of their land. Nothing would grow on this woman’s hillside. There was one dirty stream at the bottom of the hill with a few fish, otherwise there was nothing to eat. Two yards in front of where we sat was a small circle of wooden crosses. It was where she buried her children, beneath the dust. She had no food or medicine to keep them alive.
The parable of the sheep and the goats suggests that God is like that woman; that when I think of God, I should think of praying and turning to someone like her. What shall I offer such a God when I come to worship? And what shall I expect such a God to do for me when I am frightened and in trouble? And when I pray, what shall I say to such a God — this woman who has nothing at all?
I sat beside her as part of a world that crucifies her and shuts her out — that refuses to stretch out its hand to feed her and clothe her and visit her, or comfort her children. Yet, like the crucified, her arms are open wide in welcome. She greets me as a friend. She offers to share what she has, and she thanks me for coming.
That is the Advent God who came in Jesus of Nazareth. That is Emmanuel, God with us, forever empty and forever full — who comes and comes again in the poorest of the poor.
I hated school when other kids created trouble. Do you remember the feeling? You’d be falsely accused of calling someone a name. Or other kids wrote nasty notes about your hair or clothes. Or the bully towered over you, ready to punch your lights out. For those moments, the world might as well have ended. You couldn’t imagine how life could go on.
I imagine Joseph felt like that when he heard of Mary’s pregnancy. His engagement was not going according to classroom rules. People started talking. Whispering. Giggling. Sneering. And who knows, perhaps Mary had an older brother that would have beaten the life out of Joseph.
But notice what the angel tells Joseph: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel — which means, ‘God with us’. ”
God with us. What wonderful words Joseph heard. It made all the difference.
Remember those tough days at school? What a relief it was when the teacher showed up at just the right moment to make things right. To stop the talking. To halt the fight. The teacher was in the room and all was well. Whew! So, too, God would be with Joseph and Mary.
But that’s not all, I imagine. God was not only going to be there, He would be on their side. Just like the teacher who says, “I’m with you, son. The rest of you, run along.”
God’s promise must have emboldened Joseph because the next day he took the less travelled road and married Mary. Such was his confidence in God’s presence and God’s defence.
Joni Eareckson Tada, “Diamonds in the Dust”