Tag Archives: Advent

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.

 

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.

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.

13 December – Mary and Joseph set off

I love the very human picture of Joseph and Mary setting off to travel to Bethlehem. It’s easy to forget that they were (in every way except two) an ordinary young couple, probably both in their teens.

Can you think of any younger relatives or friends who are unsure of what the next year will bring? How can you reassure and encourage them?

 

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.

12 December – The Emperor speaks

Big decisions of powerful people sometimes have consequences they don’t bother to think about for the more ordinary people who get caught up in them. When Caesar ordered a census of his empire, it led Mary and Joseph into a difficult journey, just as Mary’s baby was due to be born.

Joseph and Mary didn’t have much choice but to travel to Bethlehem, but they trusted that God’s plan wouldn’t be knocked off course.

Can you remember a time of being forced to do something you didn’t want to, and finding that God was present with you throughout the experience?

 

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.

11 December – Light in the Darkness

The message of Christmas isn’t about escapism or pretending that everything’s ok when it isn’t. It’s not about tinsel and glitter as a distraction from the world’s problems. It’s about a light that shines in the darkness.

The prophet Isaiah had to face up to the darkness of the state his nation was in before he could see the light of God’s salvation. Into what darkness do you hope the light of Christ will shine this Christmas, whether for you or for our world?

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.

10 December – Ancient words

Isaiah spoke to Ahaz over 700 years before the birth of Jesus, in a time of darkness for God’s people. He probably didn’t realise that his message from God would reach far beyond his own day, and be wonderfully fulfilled through Mary and Jesus.

When St Matthew was trying to understand the full meaning of Jesus’ birth, he remembered this prophecy, and saw that the story of Christmas was just one (very important) part of the long, long story of God’s faithful love for his people. In Jesus, the name ‘Emmanuel’ would not just be deeply symbolic; it would be a statement of fact.

Where is God already present ‘with’ you?

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.