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Posts Tagged ‘Advent’

It’s Epiphany today, when Christians remember the Magi who visited the infant Jesus and his parents, bringing gifts. But we’re still officially (I think) in the church’s Christmas season. I’m rather a hapless Anglican when it comes to the liturgical calendar. But I think it’s still legitimate to share a song that has delighted me in my meditation on the incarnation this year, prompted by an conversation which included the Engineer’s godmother, Song. She has just completed her Old Testament PhD on the Song of Songs, so we now have to call her Dr Song. And she pointed out to me that the carol Jesus Christ the Apple Tree, that I’d loved for a while whilst being puzzled as to its origins, has its roots (badoom-tish) in the Song:

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest
is my beloved among the young men.

Song of Solomon 2:3

The song has also been on my mind as I’ve been reading my bible this season. There are a lot of trees in the bible aren’t there?

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We have our Jesse Tree up. And the Christmas tree. We’ve not quite managed to retrieve the card holder from the cellar yet. I have made my first batch of mince pies. Things are beginning to feel festive. And this weekend, the Queen has been practising her festive cookies for a competition in school. She made the cookie cutters from aluminium herself in the tech lab. In the slideshow below is a picture is of the ones she made and iced with pukka homemade royal icing as a practice run before making some more to take to school for the event today.

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Glen Scrivener has produced another great spoken word piece this Advent. Christmas in Dark Places reminds us that:

He took on our frailty, he took on all comers

To turn all our winters to glorious summers.

Such a fantastic reminder as I gaze out on our bleak and misty winter churchyard, looking like a scene from Great Expectations. You can download the mp4 for use too.

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If you’re like me, you probably have one or two (= about a hundred) things left to do to prepare for Christmas. Here in the Vicarage, we have been reading a few of the Jesse Tree readings at teatime but have so far failed to actually get a suitable twig to hang the decorations from. We’ve been pulling the decorations from their tin as we read. And then popping them back, saying ‘We must get a twig to hang these from’. And failing. Are things a bit upside down in your house too? Maybe you even have a few (all the?) pressies still left to buy. Or you need some encouragement in the final flapping. So, in a spirit of festive helpfulness, I have six paper copies of The Ministry of a Messy House to give away in time for Christmas.

Tell me below the latest you’ve been up wrapping on Christmas Eve in the comment box below and on Sunday evening I’ll draw six names out and post your book out first thing next Monday.

MMH IVP marketing tweet

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This morning I clicked through to read the Advent thought from my publisher. And guess whose book it came from? Happy First Monday of Advent everyone!

 

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For my devotions recently I’ve been reading the bible on my tablet, using the YouBible app and the Book of Common Prayer reading plan. The reading plan often includes 4 or 5 psalms, which I have been finding very helpful. Yesterday the set readings included Psalm 94, which spoke right into a busy week filled with sadnesses for people I love:

When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.

Psalm 94:19

Reading the Bible and meditating on it are one of the consolations that God provides. And since Advent is coming I’ve been thinking of finding a devotional to take me towards Christmas. We’ll have our family Jesse Tree of course. But I see that the e-book Good News of Great Joy is available again this year. I very much enjoyed following John Piper’s rather eclectic thoughts which often take you in unexpected and stimulating directions, so I think I’ll be returning to that again. I’ve also just been reminded of David Murray’s Children’s Bible Reading Plan which looks very easy to use and has been designed for his 8 and 7 year old children. I might wave it at the Vicarage kids and see if any of them are up for giving it a go over Advent. Or even starting this week.

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This morning UCCF have launched a spoken word video for Advent and Christmas – great animation and words with a gentle challenge. Another option for your Christmas services, along with Someone is Coming and Joseph.

 

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