Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

We’ve just been practicing for our Christmas Eve Celebration at church and the words of a new Christmas hymn are ringing in my ear.

Keith and Kristyn Getty have penned these words that I am pleased to share with you this Christmas, praying that this will be a blessed Christmas for you, and knowing that even in a world of dangers Jesus came to give us life:

Jesus, joy of the highest heaven,
Born as a little baby under a wondrous star.
Like us, crying He takes His first breath
Held by His mother, helpless,
close to her beating heart.
Jesus, laid in a lowly manger
Facing a world of dangers,
Come to turn me, a stranger
Into a child of God.

Jesus, king of the highest heaven,
Learning to take his first steps
That he might give us life,
Like us, knowing our smiles and sorrows
He showed the way to follow,
A way that is true and right
Jesus take away every darkness
Steady my simple footsteps
That I might in your goodness
Live as a child of God.

Another great fair is over – for the sixth year, Maida Vale Baptist Church has run Christmas at the Fair in Range View Park, High Wycombe, and it was a beauty.

Many thousands of people (couldn’t count them) turned up for three hours of fun, participation, food, rides, information, and a reminder that Christmas is a part of our cultural heritage here in Western Australia.

We had an amazing group of boys, both Maori and Noongar, who presented a series of Maori dances as part of their ongoing learning about the importance of family, respect, setting goals and achieving them, cultural identity and reverence for their creator.

A new choir in Perth, the Perth Chin Baptist Church choir presented some brilliant music from their native of Myanmar, and the ever-popular Kalamunda Pipe Band brought some cultural heritage from the northern hemisphere.

Maida Vale Baptist Church likes to think of Christmas at the Fair as our gift to the community – it’s not a fund-raiser or a PR exercise, but an opportunity for us to give something back to the community and encourage people to participate in a range of activities and get to know their neighbours in the process.

I would like to thank the scores of volunteers who helped out in so many ways during the year and during the event to make this another successful event, and to those who came along and enjoyed the evening I thank you as well.

Take a look at the video and enjoy it again.

Life is made up of experiences, sometimes dramatic or traumatic, but most of the time simple everyday events that come and go without a second thought.

Eating, playing, worshipping, creating, and sharing become the raw materials that over a lifetime come together to produce a mosaic that we call life, and while we may have missed the significance of some of them at the time, we can look back and realise how valuable they were in the overall picture.

On Saturday night we participated in our monthly church activity, Messy Church, and I had that sense that this one of those moments that made a significant contribution to the fabric of life. It was the last Messy Church for the year and we had a Christmas theme. It was a joy to see people of all ages from babies through to grandparents working together on an activity (I’ll tell you about that in a moment), singing Christmas songs together, playing games, hearing the story of Christmas, praying, and eating together.

These things happen in our own families every day but to bring many families together in this way is what I think the apostle Paul was thinking of when he said, Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. In an age when people seem to be withdrawing into virtual relationships it is great to participate in an activity where real relationships are formed with people across generational barriers.

Now, I mentioned the activity that we participated in at Messy Church on Saturday. We built a Christmas Tree. Have a look at this video to see what happened:

They Won’t Expect This!

Posted: December 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

Here’s a beautiful video out of New Zealand, that tells the Christmas story from the point of view of children. You’ll love it. I played it at church yesterday and it was a great introduction to my talk about the unexpected visit of the angels to the shepherds on the outskirts of Bethlehem, announcing the birth of Jesus.

What’s in a Name?

Posted: December 16, 2013 in Uncategorized
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ImageSometimes people choose their baby’s names because it keeps up a family tradition, sometimes because they know someone else of that name, or perhaps it’s just because it’s a name that sounds good.

It’s not too often in the 21st century that people choose names because of their meaning.  I looked up the meaning of my name. Robert apparently means “bright fame”, but those two words don’t seem to go together, after all, it’s not a sentence and the words don’t describe anything, so I think naming me Robert had more to do with family history than the meaning of the name.

Prior to the birth of Jesus another baby was born, and his parents called him John.  Now that’s a name that has some meaning. At the time of his birth, John meant the Lord is Merciful, or Gracious Gift of God.

There was a bit of a dispute at the time because everyone thought that the baby should be named after his father – don’t you love the way everyone’s got an opinion!  But John’s father, Zechariah, had been told by an angel that his baby was to be called John, and Zechariah had the insight to know that John was going to be the person who would prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus.

It’s interesting to me that Jesus didn’t just appear on the scene unannounced, but that his cousin, John, was born before him, with the role of preparing the way. As we prepare for Christmas; buying presents, decorating the Christmas tree, and buying the ham, it’s worth remembering that Jesus didn’t come without preparation, and his arrival was not unexpected.

Little Drummer Boy

Posted: December 7, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Here’s another great song to get you into the Christmas Spirit!

What a fantastic time we had at Christmas at the Fair yesterday.

The event, now in its sixth year, has turned into the major community event of the year for High Wycombe and this year was definitely the best ever. The volunteers from Maida Vale Baptist Church who planned Christmas at the Fair, and did all the hard work in putting it on have to be congratulated for doing a great job.

I am pleased to see the church taking a lead role in the community in providing services that build social capital and help our neighbourhoods to grow in a healthy way.

Take a look at the video and enjoy….