Preparation for Sunday December 26th

Hi Everyone,
I trust you are all well and surviving the last minute rush for Christmas.

I think most of you know, but it’s not bad to remind you, that our Christmas Eve service is from 6-7pm this Friday evening. It will be a candlelight service, that will be simple, reflective and worshipful. I hope you can make it and invite those who you know don’t have plans for that evening, who knows who might end up coming.

Secondly, this coming Sunday we’ll be reading from Matthew 2:1-12. Here’s the text:

“In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road. (Matt 2:1–12)

Queries:

1. What do you notice about the different ways the people in this text respond to "the good news" of Christ’s birth?
2. What are the ways, or to what extent, have you gone in search of Christ this year?
3. What are some of the signs of God’s grace to you over the last year?

See you Friday, and if not Friday have a lovely Christmas!
Wess