December 2nd 730pm Origin Christmas Special @ the Usher Hall
December 3rd 1030am A Long Awaited Birth
7pm Guest Night: Making Sense of Christmas
December 8th 645pm Wreath Making Workshop (Tickets £12)
December 9th 2pm Wreath Making Workshop (Tickets £12)
December 10th 1030am A Long Awaited Solution
7pm 9 Lessons and Carols
December 15th 645pm One Way Club’s ‘Big Christmas Party’
December 17th 1030am A Long Awaited Promise (Kids Service)
7pm A Long Awaited Celebration
December 24th 1030am A Long Awaited Leader
7pm Christmas Eve Service
December 25th 1030am A Long Awaited Visitor (family service)
December 31st 1030am A Long Awaited Hope (family service)
830pm Hogmanay Ceilidh
11pm Watchnight Service
For more information about...
... wreath making tickets and services contact Karen
... Nine Lessons and Carols contact Lesley
... Hogmany contact Debbie
In the summer of 2018, the whole world was transfixed by the events unfolding in Thailand’s Tham Luang cave. What started out as an adventurous day had turned into a nightmare for a dozen young boys and their football coach. They found themselves trapped miles below ground, cut off by rising flood waters from their friends and families, and facing the real possibility of death. There was nothing they could do to get themselves back out. So for over a week they sat on a shelf of rock, waiting in the dark and hoping for rescue. Until at long last on day 9, a bright light appeared in the water below and the head of a rescue diver appeared. This marked the end of one wait and the commencement of another. It would take another week for the team of international rescuers to successfully bring all the boys back to the surface.
Although, fortunately, none of us is in the position of being trapped in a cave. We all know something of the painful experience of waiting. Regardless of whether we’re waiting for something pleasant (like a dream holiday, the birth of a baby, the moving date into a new home, or pay day at the end of the month) or unpleasant (like the waiting room for the dentist), waiting is difficult! And sometimes we are left feeling disappointed in the end that it wasn’t worth the wait!
If there’s one long-awaited occasion that no one wants find disappointing it is Christmas. That’s why as children wait in eager anticipation, counting down the days, parents feel the pressure to fulfill those expectations.
Waiting at Christmas is nothing new. All the people involved in the first Christmas were waiting. A virgin girl was waiting for the birth of her miraculously conceived child. A group of shepherds were in the fields waiting for dawn when an angel appeared announcing the birth of the saviour of the world. A caravan of wise men traversed continents and counted down the days until they could worship the newborn king. And none of them were disappointed by the birth of Jesus.
For centuries before his arrival, the biblical prophets had foretold the coming of a divine rescuer. Prophets are like newsreaders, who announce the headlines - only centuries in advance of the events happening! Isaiah was one of those prophets, who recorded his prophecies over 700 years before the birth of Christ.
For people who find ourselves trapped in a world marked by decay, plagued with disasters and diseases, harassed by dark thoughts in ourselves and disconnection from others, and stalked by the threat of death. Isaiah announced the good news that divine rescuer was coming: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light”. He foretold how Jesus would be born of a virgin, because He would be no one less than “God with us” (Isaiah 7). He foresaw how this child was born to rule the nations, bringing peace, harmony and justice on the earth (Isaiah 9 and 11). He prophesied how Jesus would suffer for the sins of the world, thereby defeating death and setting its captives free (Isaiah 53 and 61). He finished with a vision of a transformed world, of heaven come down on earth, that Jesus would usher in (Isaiah 65).
The wonderful thing is that Jesus did not disappoint in His first advent to be our saviour and that gives us good reason to be confident that we will not be disappointed as we await His second advent to be our king.
“Come thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free,
from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee”