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Blog: December 2023 - FOLLOW THE STAR

For the last few years the Church of England have produced very popular booklets with a short reading, reflection and prayer for the days running up to and after Christmas.

The first was called: ‘Follow the Star – 12 days of Christmas wonder’; then ‘Comfort and joy’; then ‘At the heart of Christmas’; then ‘Follow the Star – the great invitation’. And this year its ‘Follow the Star – join the song’ – which will be available at the back of our churches during December and also on-line.

There’s clearly something here – ‘Follow the Star’ started it all off, and then after a break of different themes, last year and this year its ‘follow the Star’ again!

Apart from the characters in the Christmas story that are in the Bible – Mary, Joseph, shepherds, magi, angels - and Jesus of course, there are lots of other things, animals and other aspects that have been added to the story over the years mainly by the carols we sing, art we display myths and legends we share and the cribs we erect. In the bible there are no donkeys, stables, robins, grumpy inn-keepers, spiders, trees, drummer boys, but in the Bible there is a STAR! And there is a lot of light around too!

There are many varieties of stars. But I think of two main types – those that shine themselves because they are burning balls of fire – the Sun is the biggest most obvious one, and there are those that reflect the light from the the sun and other burning stars, so that we can see stars twinkling in the dark night sky, especially when it’s a clear night.

In both Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and right up to the end of the 40 days of the Christmas Season to Candlemas on 4th February, stars of light play a big part.

In our own churches we always begin on Advent Sunday with our ‘Cross lighting Service’ at Ravensden where many see the cross lit up on All Saints Ravensden as looking like a star shining brightly in the sky across to the Kimbolton Road.

Jesus came into the world at that first Christmas as a light shining in the darkness. He gave His life for us on the cross which shines out across history as a sign of hope and saving power.

Please join us this Advent, Christmas and through the dark days of January to celebrate Jesus as that bright shining light/star/Sun/Son who has entered our dark world.

With my prayers for you all for a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Timothy Wilson

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