20 December – The Lord’s my Shepherd

We’re not familiar with shepherds in Wednesfield. But the ‘Good Shepherd’ is an image of God lots of us find helpful. The shepherds in today’s video remind us of what that shepherding involved in their day; it involved living among the sheep, caring for them, guiding and providing and sometimes protecting them. Israel’s greatest king, David, began life as a shepherd, and at his best he led his people with the same care.

Who are the shepherds of our community? Who are our guides, providers, protectors? And who do you guide, provide for and protect? Pray for them today and perhaps ask yourself what they reflect of the God who cares for us – or of what we need from God.

 

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.

19 December – A new star in the sky

In the city at night we only see a few of the stars. In ancient times, or now in deep countryside, there’s far more to see. We don’t have to give specific meanings to particular stars or planets to be affected by the beauty of stars in a clear, dark sky. They remind us of the majesty of Creation – and the greater majesty of the one who created it.

Would your journey to meet Jesus be richer for that sense of awe? Maybe the wise men were ready to move because they knew their place in the universe, and so were ready to act when they saw that the universe was changing around them!

Why not try this Christmas or New Year to head somewhere dark on a night with few clouds, and just absorb the brilliant glory of the night sky?

 

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.

 

18 December – ‘His name is Jesus’

Take a moment today to pause and remember that in Jesus, God has come to save us. That’s behind his name, which means literally ‘God saves’ or ‘God to the rescue’.

Where in your life today do you need God’s rescue?

 

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.

17 December – The perfect Christmas?

With just over a week to go, you may be feeling the pressure to get ready for Christmas, especially if you’ve got a journey to make or people are coming to stay. If you’ve been watching too many TV programmes about how to have the ideal Christmas, you’re probably feeling even worse!

Don’t forget that the first Christmas took place where plans had gone wrong, with no decorations or groaning table of food. But it involved people who loved each other, the kindness of strangers and the faithfulness of God. Does your Christmas need any more than that?

 

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.

16 December – No room at the inn

Bethlehem was busy – and all the inns were full. We know that part of the story well, as the innkeeper is one of the well-known characters of school nativity plays. The innkeepers of the town were working at full stretch, but one took time to think and help – to get a stable as ready as it could be. God works through small acts of kindness as well as prophets and angelic choirs.

Take time today to look for someone who needs you to step aside from the busyness and help them – take your part in the nativity play of life!

 

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.

15 December – No room with the relatives

We all know that there was ‘no room at the inn’ in Bethlehem, but have you ever wondered why Mary and Joseph had to try the inn in the first place, when this was Joseph’s home town?

You’d think that Joseph’s family would have made space for a heavily pregnant daughter in law, wouldn’t you? Perhaps some of the rumours about Mary had come down from Nazareth ahead of her – perhaps Joseph’s family suspected that the child was not Joseph’s, and weren’t willing to take in ‘That Mary’. We don’t know, but it seems possible, doesn’t it?

Is there anyone in your family who you’re keeping at a distance because of something they’ve done or have been said to have done? Why not reach out to them this Christmas?

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.

14 December – What about Bethlehem?

Bethlehem wasn’t an impressive or important place at the time Mary and Joseph were on their way there. A thousand years earlier it had produced the greatest of kings, David, but life had been quiet there since.

Yet at around the same time as Isaiah, over 700 years before Jesus was born, another prophet, Micah, had seen that it was in Bethlehem that the king greater than David would one day be born. Perhaps if Joseph had remembered that prophecy he wouldn’t have been so sure that God would make sure they had time to get back to Nazareth before Jesus was born!

Is there anything you’re missing in the Bible that might mean you’ll have to change your plans about the future? Ask God to show you what you need to know!

 

The animations in this series are by Jon Birch, and used by permission, but please don’t download them or post them elsewhere, as the copyright doesn’t allow that. Find out more at http://proost.co.uk/altadvent.