Good morning and welcome to Church. It’s great to have you here especially if you’re new or visiting. We’d love to meet you after church over a cup of tea. Today marks the start of our Parish’s Christmas Carols season. Tonight (8th Dec 7:00pm) at Hartley, then Friday night (13th Dec 6:30pm)at Mt Victoria, Saturday night at Mt Wilson (14th Dec 7:00pm) and Blackheath (15th AND 22rd Dec 10:30am). This year St Aidan’s will have a very kids friendly service on the 15th including plays and lots of kids songs, then a more traditional Carols and Lessons (which everyone will still be welcome at!) on the 22rd. At the first Christmas the choir of angels sang at the birth of Jesus. You can draw a rough line between that moment and our modern carols tradition. The carols themselves are obviously a much more recent invention, as is the nostalgia involved with candles and the imagining of snow falling outside as we sing Joy to the World. That first choir was singing in a sheep field in the Middle East, perhaps a lot more reminiscent of an Australian Christmas than the European ideal. Regardless of the trimmings, a Carols service is an opportunity to express our joy in song. Not just the joy of another year past, not just the joy of the wide and wondrous blessings that God has showered down upon us, but particularly our joy at the blessing of God with us, a Saviour who has come down from heaven. That the problem of death, despair and suffering has been hit head on by the one with the power to solve it. We sing for joy because our rescuer has arrived, the much awaited Saviour has been born. Take the opportunity this Christmas season to sing for joy. Let me encourage you to also invite your friends and family to join us. Our carols services will be accessible` and fun, but most of all I pray that they will be sign to all of the joy that Jesus has brought to us.
Yours in Christ, Tim.