Over the last few day, our kitchen has been put to good use. On Monday evening a wonderful stroganoff was served up to those gathering as guests and volunteers at the night shelter we host. Then yesterday evening it was a hive of activity as Christmas meals were plated up and served to over 40 young people as the M13 youth project held its Christmas celebrations. Finally we benefitted once again from our friends at MANCAT who cooked a wonderful Christmas lunch for all who gathered (and indeed kept on gathering - over 50 in total!) in the building at lunch time (see picture below). It served as a reminder of how blessed we are to have a building where folk can gather and find food, friendship and fellowship and a sense of the love that our God has for each one of them.
Indeed following that theme, as we journey through Advent, last Sunday Mike our preacher helped us look at the circumstances of that 1st Christmas. He writes;
'Given our over familiarity with the Nativity story, it's no surprise that we might feel that it has nothing new to show us as we approach Christmas this year. On Sunday I shared one or two things that the story has recently taught me, in particular the sharp contrast between the all powerful Roman Emperor into whose realm Jesus was born and the weakness of the Holy Family with all the difficulties they faced at the first Christmas. It would appear that not only is God on the side of the weak but that he is willing to share those vulnerabilities with us. 'God with us' means him abiding with us in all the moments of our lives. So, we are encouraged this Advent to prepare not only our own celebrations for the festive season but also a place for Jesus be born afresh in us.’
Mention of Mike reminds us that sadly his time with us at Brunswick is drawing to a close at the end of the year. We hope to mark this in a number of ways. Together with the opportunity to support him at his licensing at Wythenshawe hospital in the morning of January 28th, we intend to formally say goodbye at our Carol Service this coming Sunday evening. Our community carol service is always a great opportunity for our extended church family to meet up together united in thanks and praise, and I hope this year in particular I can encourage you to come along to both say “hi” and “bye!”.
Until then, God Bless.