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Hurstbourne Tarrant Parish

"From the Vicar" December 2017

As we get to December we can start to feel that we are travelling towards Christmas at an alarming rate. We keep getting reminded how many shopping days there are to Christmas and time seems to be running out on us. Cards to write, presents to buy food to sort out and so many things to arrange – there is just so much to do and so little time to do it in. Will we ever be ready on time? Will we be in in any fit state to enjoy Christmas when we get there?

But in these days of December there is another way of looking at our race towards Christmas. This is the time we call Advent where we can be aware that God is drawing us near and getting ready to meet us. A new day is slowly dawning and the kingdom of God is at hand.

In church, many of our readings this month from the Old Testament are from the book of Isaiah, and they are full of reassurance as God prepares to comfort us with his presence and begin to restore things to how things should be. There is some great Church music that we may listen to, such as selections Handel’s Messiah that help us get into the right mood for Christmas and for the incarnation of God. They are a great contrast to all the activities of rushing around that we often find ourselves in especially if you have children.

This year our service structure is there to try and give us that space, that oasis, where we can spend time with Jesus through music, worship and prayer. There is our Carol service, the Crib Service and then our Christmas midnight and Christmas day services. Our Advent workshop this year is on Listening.

I hope to see as many of you as can make it at any of our services during this run into Christmas and from Margaret and myself we wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas.