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Same as last year?

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Carol Service Talk

St Andrew's Toft, 23rd December 2007.

Here we are again

2 days before Christmas

Christmas shopping ALMOST done.

Cards have been sent and cards have been received

The church decorated. The candles lit.

Sing familiar carols

Hear familiar words read aloud.

But are things really the same as last year?

We might feel we are just going round the annual cycle again, but are things really just like they always have been?

Life moves on and Christmas is a time when the changes catch up with us.

* A new job

  • Retirement
  • An addition to the family
  • Children growing up
  • Loss of a loved one
  • An unexpected diagnosis
  • The all clear after medical treatment.

Life happens. One year is not the same as the previous year. This year is not the same as the last.

Pauline's story.

Beautifully carved crib figures nativity set, provided continuity.

Page 56-7, The heart of Christmas, Chris Leonard (BRF, 2001)

Pauline's Christmas could never be the same after her mother died.

But in the gift of her friend she saw God at work in a new and unexpected way. God's light shone through the darkness of her grief.

And in that first Christmas, God was at work in a new and totally unexpected way. A gift of a child, yes – but to an unmarried woman

Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means God is with us.”

I don't know how you are feeling as we approach Christmas this year – whether for you it's the same as it always has been, or whether you're feeling life will never been the same again.

But I do know that God still works in new and unexpected ways.

As he worked in Pauline's life, as he worked in Mary and Joseph's life. So he works today.

So... rest of the service. Listen expectantly, sing buoyantly, look for the gift God offers to you this Christmas.

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