Happy New Year! Did you take your Christmas decorations down on Wednesday? Many people use this date as the end of Christmas celebrations and it is usually the time when we go back to work or school after the holidays. Some people choose to continue to celebrate Christmas until Candlemas on 2nd February. This makes it into 40 days like Advent or Lent.
The reading this week is about the visit of the Magi to the stable. You can listen to Annabel and Elizabeth read it in the service or you can read it for yourself from your Bible in Matthew, chapter 2, verses 1-11.
Did your family get an email from Rev. Yvonne last week? It was connected to the service when we celebrated Epiphany. She asked that you put what looks like a calculation on the door of your house or on the step or path. If you missed it, you can still join in. Discuss where you can put the writing with your parents and then write
Rev. Yvonne explained why we write this and what it means but, if you missed it, we have put the meaning here. The prayer at the end of our activities is one you can use while you write.
The 20 and 21 represent the current year. The + reminds us of the cross on which our Saviour died. The C, M, and B stand for the traditional names of the Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, as well as an abbreviation for the Latin phrase “Christus mansionem benedicat” which means “Christ bless this house.” Writing on the door also brings to mind the Passover of the Jews during the final plague in Exodus, when the blood of the lamb protected the inhabitants within.
The Magi brought some gifts for Jesus. We usually think of three gifts that are mentioned in the story. Think of something that represents each gift for you:
Gold – this gift was expensive and given to Kings – you might use a piece of jewellery or something you own that is precious or expensive…
Frankincense – this is a perfume that is used in celebrations – you might use something that smells lovely, perhaps some perfume or a scented candle or your favourite food…
Myrrh – this is also a perfume but it has more sad connections and was used when people died; it looks forward to the reason Jesus came to live among us – use something that reminds you of Jesus’ death at Easter…
The Magi brought a fourth gift to Jesus. They brought themselves. They bowed down and worshipped Jesus before they gave the other gifts. This time you should gather up things that represent you. What do you love to do? What are you good at? What do you want to get better at? When you think you have everything, imagine giving all of it to Jesus to use in 2021.
We pray for our homes at the beginning of this new year:
Lord God of heaven and earth,
you revealed your only-begotten Son to
every nation by the guidance of a star.
Bless this house and all who inhabit it.
Fill us with the light of Christ, that
our concern for others may reflect your
love. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing you in 2021
Alison and Angie