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Christchurch Methodist Church

Springfield Road, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex TN40 2BX

Christchurch Methodist Church

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Tricia

Methodist Church

Minister's Letter

Dear Friends

The Child in the centre

Child

During Advent we journey together to the stable in Bethlehem.
As we travel we are reminded of God’s people who watched and waited for the coming of God’s chosen one. We remember God’s word handed down through the Bible and the Prophets. We meet with John the Baptist whose preaching and activities prepared the way for the coming of Jesus and his ministry.  We encounter a young woman who was chosen to be the bearer of the child who ‘will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.’ (Luke 2:32) Yet at the stable in Bethlehem all we find is a little child. 

The Christ child is at the centre of the Christmas story. God chooses to express his hope and love for the world in the new life and potential of a baby, born in difficult circumstances with many challenges ahead. The child’s helplessness and vulnerability speak to us of the great risk that God took in becoming human and living amongst us.

The shepherds who came hurrying and the wise men who journeyed more slowly all came seeking the child at the centre of the story, of the prophecies, of the future. And did they find a ruler, a priest, a king, a saviour?  Only a child in a stable, over which a star shone brightly proclaiming hope, love and peace on earth.

So often our celebration of Christmas is such that the little child is either buried under tinsel and trimmings or pushed to the corner. As we enter the Advent season and prepare ourselves afresh to celebrate Christ’s birth let us ask God to help us to strip away the tinsel and the trimmings to find the story underneath, which has the child at the centre.  By placing the child at the centre we will be able to receive afresh the message that he brings and keep it at the centre of our hearts and our lives as individuals and as a community of God’s people.

May the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas
With love,
Tricia

Focus for Prayer – December 2017 

God has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4.6) 
As we journey through Advent and light the candles each week, pray that we may be filled with wonder and keen anticipation for God’s glory to be revealed to the world. May our hearts burn within us and inspire us to proclaim the light and life of Christ to all. 
· Let us pray that the light of Christ may shine on those living in the darkness of hatred, suffering or despair and bring love, healing and hope for the future. 
· Amidst the tinsel and bright lights, cards and presents and all the preparations for Christmas, let us remember that God calls us aside to be still, to be at peace and to open our hearts and minds to hear again the message of Christmas. 
· Pray for all who are not looking forward to Christmas – those who have been bereaved during the last year and will be spending Christmas without their loved ones, people who are anxious or troubled and any who will be alone. 
· Pray for the work of local charities and groups seeking to show God’s light and love to others in practical ways including the Bexhill Foodbank, Snowflake Night Shelter, Christians Against Poverty and Surviving Christmas. Thank God for all volunteers and pray that their work will be a blessing to those they seek to help and to themselves. May God’s love shine through all that they do. 
· Give thanks that Jesus came into the world to bring light, joy and hope to all people. Pray for all who are involved in preparing the special events and services taking place this month and for those who will come to share in them. May the light of Christ’s presence burst in on our worship filling us all with praise and wonder enabling us to shine as lights for the world. 
If you have any prayer concerns for next month, please contact Revd Tricia Williams

© Copyright 2017 Christchurch Methodist Church
Hastings Bexhill & Rye Methodist Circuit - Charity number 1134757