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11th December - Weekly Noticesheet

Advent 3 – Decorations and Preparations

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Where do you encounter and see God in the seasonal decorations and preparations of Christmas?

My memories of Christmastime are filled with playing in the snow, decorating a tree and house, carol singing around villages and estates and of singing around the piano with my family. Christmas fayres and card writing, present buying and mince pie making, also feature highly in the memory banks. I recall attending midnight services. Whereas today I engage with the first communion of Christmas and of the word being read and opened to us all. I remember then being more struck by the awesome nature of God in all things as I walked out of Church around 12.30-1.00am. On an often cold and clear night (or rainy these days!), the crisp clear air almost magnified the sense of space and wonder at the starlit sky. The brilliance of the heavens all aglow in stars and planets. Reminds me of some of the ways we decorate and plan for the season:

Holly: A hardy and resilient plant, perhaps reminding us of the immortality of God? Gifts: Magi and three gifts come to mind? What about the virtues of giving and receiving? Tree: Garden of Eden? Burning Bush? Branch of Jesse from which Jesus was born? Cross of Christ? That which John saw in Revelation? Fruit: Baskets of fruit used to be given (these days it’s hampers) or tangerines in stockings. Symbols of the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Mistletoe: Lives off the tree it is attached to. No roots of its own. We only exist fully when we are attached/ reattached to God. Evergreens: Retains colour all year. Symbols of resilience and perseverance Candy Cane: Shaped as a shepherd’s crook. Candles: The light of Christ.

Not to mention Stockings, Carols and Bells and more... Look for Christ in all things.You’ll be surprised what you discover.

Shalom Si

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