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St Andrews Church in Hampton with Janet
St Andrews Church in Hampton with Janet

Christmas Day saw a lovely service in the St Andrews Church Hampton with the wonderful peel of bells to greet us. A well played organ and an enthusiastic congregation brought cheer to the heart. The sermon focused on the children born around the world 2015 years after Christ and what future lies ahead of them as we enter an age of poverty, starvation and deprivation born from the threats posed by climate uncertainty, warfare and a misguided ideology. It was a well made point founded on the birthday of Jesus. Immanuel God coming to be with us, made flesh, sent to save us from ourselves. The question is of course how we take such good words and sentiments shared by all and turn them in to positive action to improve the lives and life chances of so many children. I took an order of service home with me from the church as there was much within it that I wished to keep hold of and thought might provide some inspiration. So as I shared lunch with my family thankful that we had such good food to eat and played a game of charades and quizzes on Christmas then opened our presents to each other to remind ourselves of the gits of the wise men to the baby Jesus and as an expression of our love for each other my mind was brought back to the unanswered questions of today and the world we live in bearing such misery and sadness. I turned to the order of service and drew comfort from this prayer and blessing as a call for action. Not only by our lord and saviour born to flesh but also by ourselves - to save us from ourselves through Gods word and example:

Christ, born in a stable,
Give courage to all who are driven from their homes.

Christ, for whom the angels sang,
Give the song of the kingdom to all who weep.

Christ, worshipped by the shepherds,
Give peace on earth to all who are oppressed.

Christ, before whom the wise men knelt,
Give humility and wisdom to all who govern.

Heavenly Father,
Whose word came among us in the Holy Child of Bethlehem;
Shine brightly in our hearts, words and deeds as we go out into the world to rejoice in your love.
And may the love of the Lord Jesus draw us to you,
The power of the Lord Jesus strengthen us in your service,
And may the joy of the Lord Jesus fill all our hearts.

Amen.