The Archbishops have prepared a ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ for the Christmas season that we can all use in our own homes. It is called ‘Comfort and Joy’ and takes us from Christmas Day to January 2nd. We can access it at: www.churchofengland/ComfortAndJoy and we hope many of us will use it in our own prayer.
But why wait for Christmas Day? As we look ahead to Christmas, we can use the Advent season as a time to develop good habits of reading and meditating on God’s Word, following the example of Christians through the ages. The word ‘Advent,’ of course, means ‘coming.’ It is a time to reflect on Jesus’ first coming, the ways in which he comes to us every day by his Holy Spirit, and our hope that he will come again to renew the world and the whole universe.
These last few days of Advent we are returning to the New Testament, and especially to the writings of John in his gospel and first letter.
These passages may be very familiar as readings we hear during Advent and over Christmas – but maybe we only hear them in part, and need to keep reading a bit further.
Each day there is a very simple format to help us: A passage to read and a question to help you reflect. There are always difficult things to grasp in the Bible - don’t get stuck on those, but it might help you to write your questions down and share them with someone else – things often become clearer when we talk them through with another Christian. There is also a prayer to use each day through the week to help us come closer to God.
Monday December 21st
1 John 4 vv.1-3
John uses strong language here – why is he so worked up about people who deny that ‘Jesus Christ has come in the flesh’?
Tuesday December 22nd
1 John 4 vv.7-12
How does Jesus’ coming change the way we treat other people?
Wednesday December 23rd
John 3 vv.16-21
We often isolate 3 v.16 as a scriptural ‘plum’ – what is John trying to tell us here about why Jesus came into our world?
Thursday Christmas Eve
John 1 vv.1-18
A reading we hear at every Christmas Carol Service – is it too familiar? Read it again slowly and turn it into praise as you read.
A Prayer for each day:
Glory to God in the Highest!
You have given your only Son to come into the world and become a truly human being – for us and for all people.
Fill us with praise this Christmas time.
In His name, Amen
And don’t forget to log on to www.churchofengland/ComfortAndJoy for the Christmas season itself.
Happy Christmas and a joyful New Year!