This morning we have another full service, but it will be filled with fun, story and song.

Not only do we welcome little Alexandra through baptism, which I must say is very fitting so close to Christmas, but we also take time out to go through the Christmas story again with readings and carols.

The tradition of Lessons and Carols dates back to around 1880 and comes from England.  It began with 9 lessons or readings from the Bible beginning in Genesis and journeying towards the birth of Christ.  To match these readings carols were chosen, some to be sung by the choir and some by the people.  This tradition continues, sometimes very strictly and sometime not so strictly, today.  This morning we’re doing the not so strictly version but still enjoying hearing the story and singing the carols.

Stopping and remembering the story is a very important part of preparing for the coming of the Christ child.  It can be particularly hard for us to stop with all the Christmas preparation that is expected of us in buying gifts and getting ready for family to gather.  Then add in all the Christmas parties and end of year functions, time to stop can indeed be considered a luxury.

For us in the church we mark this time as Advent.  Each week (4 Sundays) leading up to Christmas we light a candle to help us look forward to the coming of Christ.  So far we’ve lit the candle of Hope, the candle of Peace and this week we light the candle of Joy and then next week the final candle of Love.

As we head towards Christmas one of the important things we do here at Murrumbeena UC is Countdown 2 Christmas for the young children in our community. This is the 20th year we have offered this program, a true telling of the story filled with song, craft, drama and fun. It’s one not to miss out on, as is our 6pm Christmas Eve service.   Christmas Blessings to you all!!

Jay Robinson

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Uniting Church in Australia