24th December Canvey Methodist Church Worship Services

Canvey Island Methodist Church Thursday 24th December 2020

Christmas Eve Reflections:

 

Nativity by Len Magee: https://youtu.be/YvhHMOTnYNQ

 

Complete Reflection: https://youtu.be/jZvqANFpPfk

Welcome : Welcome to Christmas Reflections from Canvey Island Methodist Church on Christmas Eve Thursday 24th December 2020

A reading from Isaiah 9:1-2   New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

9 But there won’t be any more sadness for those who were suffering. In the past the Lord brought shame on the land of Zebulun. He also brought shame on the land of Naphtali. But in days to come he will honour Galilee, where people from other nations live. He will honour the land along the Mediterranean Sea. And he will honour the territory east of the Jordan River.

2 The people who are now living in darkness
    will see a great light.
They are now living in a very dark land.
    But a light will shine on them.


 

Matthew4:12-17;

Jesus Begins to Preach

12 John had been put in prison. When Jesus heard about this, he returned to Galilee. 13 Jesus left Nazareth and went to live in the city of Capernaum. It was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 In that way, what the prophet Isaiah had said came true. He had said,

15 “Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali!
    Galilee, where Gentiles live!
    Land along the Mediterranean Sea! Territory east of the Jordan River!
16 The people who are now living in darkness
    have seen a great light.
They are now living in a very dark land.
    But a light has shined on them.” (Isaiah 9:1,2)

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach. “Turn away from your sins!” he said. “The kingdom of heaven has come near.”

 

Comment:

The people have seen a great light. A great Light has shined upon them. Angels appeared in light and glory to announce to the amazed group of shepherds working on the hillside that Jesus the light of the world, the prince of peace was born that night in Bethlehem, the City Of David. 

And hymn writers down the years have endeavoured to capture what it meant o the world that Jesus came as its true light:

 

-Light of the world you stepped down into darkness

-Christ is the true light

-Like a Candle flame, flickering small in our darkness.

-Lord the Light of your love is shining

-Light and love to all he Brings, Risen With Healing in His Wings (While Shepherds watched)

No doubt you ill all think of many more examples....

 

Few will disagree that things in the world look gloomy right now: In fact for many, having been ill with Covid19, or made redundant, or having lost loved ones, or maybe even just being worried and fearful for the future,  the world may seem to be positively dark.

I recall a quotation from the Christian Dutch Author, Corrie Ten Boom, speaking about her time of imprisonment in the Ravensbrook Concentration Camp during the second World War. She was incarnated by the Nazi's for helping Jewish people . Amidst the depravation, violence, death and squalour of camp life she discovered that Jesus the Light of the world was with her, illuminating the dreadful darkness of her situation, Later she wrote this, “There is no pit so deep, that God's love is not deeper still.” ― Corrie Ten Boom 

Corrie ten Boom

Corrie Ten Boom

Astronomers are excited this week because two of the Suns planets, (Jupiter and Saturn) have reached a point in their orbits where, in relation to the earth, they appear to be merging into one bright point of light. Historically, this phenomenon is thought to be a candidate for the Bethlehem star of the first Christmas , as seen by "The wise men from the east".

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Perhaps, today this celestial merger of reflected sunlight can be taken as a reminder that the Lord of glory is still shining His light into the world through you and me.

Our Christmas Eve Service today therefore features this theme of Christ the light dispelling our darkness. It reprises the message of the Advent Wreath Candles, and includes Carols and drama written by Paul Burbridge of the Riding Lights Theatre Company. 

Here are Dr Misha Jazz, Pam Rhodes, Anna, and The Riding Lights Theatre Company aid us in our reflections.

 

Prayer

Almighty God, thankyou for sending your Son Jesus to be the Light of the World. May He shine into our lives and homes afresh this Christmas time.

Lighten our darkness, we pray, and illuminate our pathway ahead into the new year.

 

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forevermore.

 

In Christ's Name We Pray.

Amen