Joy at Christmastime
21st December, 2018 by Jude Owens
There was Christmas joy aplenty for The Kings of Wessex Academy students when they attended the church services this week at St Andrew’s Church led by Reverends John Angle and Stuart Burns and Christian Leader, Elizabeth Alden.
Students read from the Gospel of Luke about the uplifting story of the angel who appeared to the shepherds and told of the birth of Jesus, Christ, the Lord and reminded the congregation that God loves us all in a devoted and focused way and that, like the lowly shepherds watching their flock in the field, we are not alone.
Rev. Burns explored the meaning of joy as a stronger quality than happiness and used a mirror to show how the time of Advent is to look both to the past and forwards and told how Jesus will come again and bring joy on the approach to Eastertime.
The choir gave a harmonious rendition of “White Winter Hymnal” by Robin Pecknold and the congregation sang carols “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” in the beautiful surroundings of the church.
Rev. Angle told about his time a few weeks ago helping refugees on the Syrian border to bring them joy, and hope and blessings and led the prayers for the homeless and the sad and those who have not got what we have. Following their work in tutor time at school at the start of Advent, Rev. Angle then led students in dressing the House trees with the paper garlands they had made in which they wrote wishes and thankful thoughts:
“I’m thankful for life”
“Family, friends, food, sleep…”
“In the future I hope to become more productive with my time and more organised”
“Thankful for my family and hoping for a worry-free year”
Rev. Burns concluded the service with prayers and wished students and staff a peaceful, good and joyful Christmas and a hopeful new year and with the following blessing:
May the joy of the angels,
the eagerness of the shepherds,
the perseverance of the wise men,
the obedience of Joseph and Mary
and the peace of the Christ child
be yours this Christmas…
And the blessing of God Almighty,
The father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.