My first Advent & Christmas as a Methodist Minister.
This is my first Christmas as a Methodist Minister. I was warned that Advent and Christmas can be very busy. They wasn’t kidding!!
This week I’ve done seven home communions, finished preparing six services which I will be taking between Sunday and Christmas Day, two advent bible studies, planning a New Years Eve service, and the lovely admin with a broken MacBook. I’m already thinking about my two Covenant Services in the New Year.
I think the song ‘It's the most wonderful time of the year’ by Andy Williams should be replaced with ‘It’s the most busy time of the year’.
However, it is so easy for us to run around without remembering the true meaning of Christmas.
Our theme at Muswell Hill Methodist for Advent and Christmas this year is ‘Hope of the World’ taken from the carol, 'Born in the night'.
The final verse begins: ‘Hope of the world, Mary's child'.
I want to briefly share some encounters of hope I’ve seen in my first few months in ministry.
Two weeks ago I led my first funeral of a church member. I felt nervous at first, but God gave me the words. The main song at the funeral was 'One Love' by Bob Marley. The church member loved talking to people because he believed in love.
I see hope when doing home communion visits. We come as a guest into another person's house. We bring church to the person! I’ve also seen hope when preaching in a care home and leading carols in a local brewery. Sometimes sharing hope means stepping away from your comfort zone.
Jesus is the Hope of the world for in Him we see the fulness of Love and this is what we need, perhaps more than ever, in our community and world.
I see hope when Jesus was born from the cradle and died on the cross. This is called humility!
Charles Wesley wants people to know the full story of Jesus when he writes:
“Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings” (Hark the Herald).
The hope I hold is that Jesus was born in a manger, died on a cross and rose again so that we can have everlasting life. This is hope - a new hope.
May your Christmas be filled with hope