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Weeping on the 4th Day of Christmas

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Christmas can be really hard to get through, for those who are grieving or feel they have nothing to celebrate.

Some churches put on a special quiet service before Christmas for those who simply cannot face the crowds or joyful singing at the usual Christmas and Carol Services. A quiet alternative service like 'Blue Christmas Service' can be just what some people most need at this time. Such services give permission not to be merry, say it it OK to grieve while others rejoice.

We are still in the season of Christmas and during these 12 days from Christmas Day to Epiphany (January 6) the church calendar has a number of special days that often get forgotten.

Today's commemoration certainly gives permission not to "laugh and be merry". Rather, it gives permission to weep, to protest, to rage in anger, to ask 'why do the innocent suffer'?

Today, the 4th Day of Christmas is called 'Holy Innocents Day'. It commemorates the story of a dreadful massacre of yo…

#celebrate

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It's Christmas Day and today's #AdventWord2018 is #celebrate.

Yes, today is a day to celebrate. The reason for celebration is the birth of Jesus.

Christians celebrate because the message of the angels to the shepherds is of good news of great joy to all people.

Christians celebrate because we believe that in Jesus, God gave himself to the world, not in overwhelming power or extraordinary ways, but in the vulnerability and weakness of a baby. And that greatest of gifts is the gift of love, something to be shared and celebrated.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning,- Jesu, to thee be glory give'n; word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
If, for whatever reason, you feel you have no reason to celebrate today, may you know peace and discover before too long a reason to be joyful.

Image Credit: Pixabay, CC License

#peace

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Todays #AdventWord in 2018 is #peace.

It is also now Christmas Eve in the UK, so Christmas is almost here.

One of the main messages of Christmas is 'peace'. Many Christmas cards carry images of a dove of peace.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He brings, not the sort of peace that is merely absence of war and conflict, but the deep inner peace that "passes understanding."

One of the prophecies from Isaiah , often read at Carol Services, speaks of a child born to us, a son given to us, who is named:
"Wonderful counsellor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6).
And on Christmas Day, alongside a gospel account of Jesus' birth, other verses from Isaiah may be read, like these:
"How beautiful upon the mountainsare the feet of the messenger who announces peace,who brings good news,who announces salvation,who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns'. " (Isaiah 52: 7)And yet, we have to go on asking, where is that promised reign of peace …