'the angel said to them, “Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people.
This very day in David's town your Saviour was born—Christ the Lord'
Bermondsey Daily Message: The Angels' Christmas
A favourite painting. Attributed to Leonardo. There is so much here: the tender gaze of the mother; the stunning depiction of the incarnation, the Son born of woman, fed and nurtured by a woman; the Goldfinch clutched by the baby, a symbol of the Passion, but what I like best is the way he looks out with curiosity at the world he has come to save, and how his gaze captures ours.
'an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Bermondsey Daily Message: Joseph's Christmas
'Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.
Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms.
His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
..... it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!
And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!'
Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol
A sermon for Christmas Eve
Never have we needed to hear the message of the angels more.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone over them, the shepherds were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them: Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people.
For quite different reasons all of us have experienced fear this year as the Coronavirus has stalked the land. Suddenly, unexpectedly, our lives and the whole world has been turned upside down
There has been fear and anxiety - for all of us. About our health. About our loved ones. About our jobs. About our plans. About our future. About where this is going and when it is going to end.
Could the message of the angels have anything to say to us as we come to the end of 2020?
Let’s hear it it again: Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people.
‘Do not be afraid.’ It has been calculated that the phrase ‘do not be afraid’ occurs 366 times in the Bible. That’s enough for every day of the year, including leap years.
This constant message of reassurance is repeated over and over again because God is in control, God is in charge, and he is a God of love. As the old hymn says ‘his love is as great as his power.’
The angel said: This very day in David's town your Saviour was born—Christ the Lord!
A Saviour has been born to us. A rescuer. God has come to us in person. He has come to us to rescue us.
To save us from our sins. To bring us back to himself. To adopt us into his family. To fill us with his Holy Spirit. To guide us through this life by his loving hand until we reach our heavenly home with him to reign for him forever.
Of course the fears that Covid has brought to the world remain, but in the midst of these fears comes the great reassurance of God’s love and power.
He has acted, He had done something. He has come in person. We have a saviour who has been born to us and he is Christ the Lord.
Let’s rejoice in that fact. Let us welcome him into our lives and left us take deep into our hearts the message of the angel saying to us this Christmastime ‘Do not be afraid.’
May God bless us, everyone.
A Christingle is a great way to think about the true meaning of Christmas. It proclaims Jesus as the saviour of the world and the light of the world. Join Gary, Paul, Jacob and some of the church children for our online Christingle service. 'The light shines in the darkness.'
Today, by the wonders of Microsoft Teams, we had an end of term school Christmas with all the children joining in from their classrooms. It was not quite the same as our normal end of term services in church but it was good to be together to hear the Christmas story and sing some favourite carols.
Meanwhile the children have been busy with the their Christmas productions. Here are the three from key stage 2:
Under Covid rules outrdoor carol singing is allowed, so for some of us, this was the first time we had sung in a public act of worship since March. It was good to be able to do so as we sang favourite carols and listened to Luke's narrative of the nativity.
'O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.'
The original slide was the brainchild of Arthur Carr of Peak Freans who saw children sliding on the granite slope by the side of the church steps on his way to work:
The new slide is the brainchild of architect, Fergus Carr, Arthur's great great grandson
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to bring this project to fruition.
A dark building on a dark night can be a gloomy sight, so this year which has included so many trials and troubles for so many, we have decided to let the lights shine - literally.
We're using low energy bulbs but we are leaving the church lights on overnight throughout Advent as a witness to the Light that shines in the darkness: Jesus Christ, the light of the world.
St James itself features on the commemorative plaques (above) that have been installed along the route of the railway.
Here is the booking office of Spa Station:
It is extraordinary how often working class people are ignored, overlooked or written out of the story altogether.
A prime example was at the Church of England General Synod today.
We've been out this week filming for our online Community Carol Service. Pictured above is Bermondsey MP, Neil Coyle, reading our first reading from Isaiah, and below is Karen Willis, Headteacher of St James's School reading from Luke's Gospel.
Also featured on the video are Simon Dyer of FA Albins, Councillor Eliza Mann, and Russell Dryden of the Blue. The video can be seen on our YouTube channel from 12th December.