Readings for Advent week 4 and Christmass
Monday: Numbers 24. 2-7, 15-17a; Psalm 25. 4-10; Matthew 21. 23-27
Tuesday: Zephaniah 3. 1,2,9-13; Psalm 34. 1-8, 15-22; Matthew 21. 28-32
Wednesday: Isaiah 45. 5-8, 18-25; Psalm 85. 8-13; Luke 7. 19-23;
Thursday: Isaiah 54. 1-10; Psalm 30 Luke 7. 24-30
Friday: Genesis 49. 2, 8-10; Psalm 72. 1-8 Matthew 1. 1-7, 17
Saturday: Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4; John 1:1-14
We have been fortunate that apart from RNLI, who self-cancelled, all bar one of the Christmas concerts have happened, each bringing their special joy and focus, ranging from the majesty of Cor Bro Ogwr singing ‘For unto us a Child is born’ to the pleasure of watching the youngest children from West Park telling out the Christmass story. Last night the Comp broadcast their concert, online again this year, and again an amazing professional performance with a wide variety of talent, opening with All Saints organist James Clear. (There is a link on our Facebook page).
One item particularly caught my attention, a dramatic performance of a song, new to me, ‘Noel, noel, come and see what God has done’ –
The story of amazing love
Son of God and son of man.
There before the world began,
Born to suffer, born to save
Born to raise us from the grave.
Five lines which sum up all that God does for us in Jesus and five lines for us to remember in the days leading up to Christmas (and afterwards).
This week, the Sunday before Christmass, the gospel reading is again from the Luke, the story of the meeting between Elizabeth, expectant mother of John the Baptist with newly-pregnant Mary.
‘Why has this happened to me’, says Elizabeth, ‘that the mother of my Lord comes to me? As soon as I heard the sound of your greeting the child in my womb leapt for joy.’
Mary’s response is her own song of joy, beginning ‘My soul magnifies the Lord’.
This is a song of upset and unexpected – the proud will be cast down, the lowly will be lifted up, the hungry are filled and the rich sent empty away- and a song of hope and confidence in a God whose love reaches out to touch all our lives, who Saint John will call the Light coming into darkness.
We are now going into yet another period of restrictions, although lighter than before. While the new rules don’t come into force before 27th, we thought it wise to anticipate a little. We have gone back to socially distanced seating at All Saints and Saint John’s (though we have never lost it in St David’s).
The numbers for the Carol Service have been reduced to 60, half the capacity of the Parish Church and we must be more rigorous about sanitising. That said, concerts and church services are explicitly still allowed (so the Porthcawl Male Voice concert in All Saints tomorrow will still be at 19.00) and all our services will take place as scheduled. The Epiphany lunch has been postponed, possibly to Candlemass.
It was a pleasure to join the Christmas Lunch in the Schoolroom on Wednesday: good food and good company with many thanks to Christ the cook and Janice and co for such efficient and friendly service.
A reminder that all the Christmass services are detailed on the weekly sheet and we look forward to seeing all of you who are not making your way elsewhere to be with family.
We wish you all a blessed, joyous and happy Christmass.
Fr Philip, Fr Geoff, Fr Mark