Sunday 1st January 9:30 am - The Naming of Christ The Second Sunday of Christmas
The naming of Jesus takes up one verse in Luke 2. The shepherds may have asked his name when they saw him, and would have been told what was decided and told to Joseph before the child was born. Nowadays we take knowing the gender of (and naming) a child before birth for granted. In Joseph’s day, one would know a child’s name in advance, in as much as it was conventional to give the father’s name. Jesus is to have a divine name which defines his saving purpose: Jesus or Yeshua means ‘The Lord saves’.
Coffee and mince pies after the service, followed by a New Year’s Day walk of about an hour (weather permitting).
Sunday 8th January 9:30 am The Feast of the Epiphany
The magi bring gold for kingship, frankincense for worship and myrrh for burial.
These gifts mirror the greater gift of love that is God himself manifested in the baby Christ, who is now revealed as light and saviour of the world to not only the Jews but to all nations and peoples.
The Magi are Gentiles, so not only their gifts, but their journey and their identity are rich in symbolism.
Sunday 15th January 9:30 am The Second Sunday of Epiphany
Jesus sets about calling disciples, and in Simon’s case, gives him a new name. It is a team-building exercise, but the inspiration to join comes from a recognition of who Jesus is. Words and actions combine to attract followers, who are to be changed by the Messiah over the next three years. In the calling of the first disciples it is clear that relationships and personal experience are paramount.
Sunday 15th January 5:00 pm Youth Group Service
Sunday 22nd January 9:30 am The Third Sunday of Epiphany
Jesus is on the move again, a refugee from those who threaten violence and death. The scene is familiar to us from television screens that fill with images of those in darkness with nowhere to lay their heads. In portraying the acts of violence by those who oppose God's people as fulfilments of prophecy, Matthew is reminding us that God has something else in mind, and that Jesus is moving towards the people.
Sunday 29th January 9:30 am The Fourth Sunday of Epiphany