Pew News December 2020
“A shining beacon of hope” is how one of our local growers of Christmas trees described his products. Most of his trees are four or five years old, having grown about 30 cms a year.
In these dark times, we would do well to remember that Jesus’ birth occurred during very dark times too. The nation was under the rule of a foreign power. People felt oppressed and with no option but to do what the law demanded. This of course meant that Joseph had no choice but to take his heavily pregnant wife on that perilous journey to the place of his birth.
Our situation, living as we are, with the invasion of the Coronavirus, has left us with no other option but to do what is decreed, hence our two experiences of national lockdown. While the news of a vaccine may seem to bring us more hope at this time than anything else, this month we also look to the hope that the birth of Jesus still continues to give us.
Why did God send His only Son to be born in such difficult circumstances? He did that to show us that he is alongside us every step of the way in whatever challenging times we find ourselves. We may find it impossible to do what we normally do at Christmas this year. If we are accustomed to going to church, we may find it very strange to go there and not to actually sing carols, but maybe simply to listen to them. If we normally celebrate Christmas with our families, we may find that the gathering has to be smaller this year.
What we can still know though is that God is with us. That is what the word “Emmanuel” means. “O come, o come Emmanuel”, so go the words of one of our Advent carols.
When we set up our Christmas tree, whether it be a living tree or an artificial one, when we send Christmas cards or even Christmas good wishes over the internet, we would do well to recall those words, that the tree…or even the card…represents the shining beacon of hope.
God is with us and whatever we feel when we go through these rituals, let us remember that God sent His Son into the world because He loves us. The tree, to most of us, has something to do with the love we have received and that we share with our families. When we look at our trees and even at the lights put up in our community, we may be reminded that this is what Christmas is really all about, receiving and giving love.
Revd. Marian Bond
Andrew Peter HOLDEN and Brooke Kimberley GRAVES
Andrew and Brooke were married at St. Mary the Virgin, Little Chart
on Saturday 24th October 2020
Luke Jake KERBEY and Angharad Frances Victoria YEO
Luke and Angharad were married at St. Peter and St. Paul, Charing
on Thursday 29th October 2020
May God strengthen them in their married life together
Alexander Thomas ‘Stephen’ PRICKETT
Stephen died on Monday 12th October 2020 aged 81.
His funeral took place at St. Peter and St. Paul, Charing,
followed by a service at Charing Crematorium, on Friday 6th November 2020.
Sir Robert Lionel JOHNSON
Sir Robert died on Sunday 25th October 2020 aged 87.
His graveside funeral and burial took place at St. Nicholas, Pluckley
on Monday 16th November 2020.
May God enfold Stephen and Robert in his tender love and care.
Readings for December 2020
Psalm 85. 1 – 2, 8 - 13
6th December Advent 2 Isaiah 40. 1 - 11 2 Peter 3. 8 – 15a Mark 1. 1 - 8
13th December Advent 3 Isaiah 61. 1 – 4, 8 - end 1 Thessalonians 5. 16 – 24 John 1. 6 – 8, 19 - 28
Psalm 89. 1 – 4, 19 - 26
20th December Advent 4 2 Samuel 7. 1 – 11, 16 Romans 16. 25 – end Luke 1. 26 - 38
Thursday Psalm 89. 2, 19 – 27 (Readings as given or Minister’s own choice)
24th December Christmas Eve 2 Samuel 7. 1 – 5, 8 – 11, 16 Acts 13. 16 - 26 Luke 1. 67 - 79
Friday Psalm 98 (Readings as given or Minister’s own choice)
25th December Christmas Day Isaiah 52. 7 - 10 Hebrews 1. 1 – 4, [5 – 12] John 1. 1 - 14
Christmas 1/ Psalm 117
27th December St. John Apostle Exodus 33. 7 – 11a 1 John 1 John 21. 19b - end