After today Christmas is upon us with celebrations on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Quickly after that comes New Year’s Eve and then New Year’s Day and between that is the first Sunday after Christmas.

Our stories are also moving quickly. We begin today with the announcement of the birth of the Christ Child to a very bewildered Joseph. Joseph is told that his name will be Emmanuel, God is with us. Our Christmas eve service will see us tell the story again with the involvement of the puppets and the children and some special guests in the form of animals. Christmas day will see the shepherds visiting the family and Mary’s reflection on all that has been happening.

The season of Christmas formally begins on Christmas day and the 1st Sunday of Christmas sees us beginning our gospel for this year, Matthew. Matthew begins with the genealogy of Jesus and we’ll hear some of the names we’ve been looking at from the Old Testament and remembering them in the history of Jesus.

Sunday 6th January is the Day of Epiphany. This is the day the Magi visit the Christ child and so we will hear that story, but also the story of all that happened around that visit and ended up with Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus fleeing to Egypt for their lives.

January sees us entering into our time of exploring “Christ the Cornerstone”. We hear of the beginning of Jesus ministry and of the teaching he gives on how we should be living. We also read about the example of Christ’s life to follow. If you want to get ahead of where we’ll be start reading Matthew now, we’ll be at the end of chapter 6 by the end of January 2019.

This time of the birth of Jesus is always special. It’s a time when God emptied Godself and came into the world to be on our level, in close relationship with us. God doesn’t expect us to comprehend all that God is, that’s why the Christ Child came to us in a way that we could understand and interact with.

Christmas Blessings to you all

Jay Robinson