This week has been tiring and emotional, saying goodbye to colleagues and students. This final Sunday before Christmas is always special at the Church here in Kirby. In the morning, the children have a Praise Party in the Church Hall, whilst the adults have a more reflective Christmas Communion Service in the Chapel.
And in the evening, it’s the Big One- the Candlelight Carol Service. The Dance Group who use our premises to practise will dance, we will sing carols old and new, and listen to the old, familiar story again. And people who do not attend church the rest of the year will come and slip inside, in the darkness, and share with us in the singing and the story. And it feels really Christmassy – students will be back home from Uni, old friends will be there because they are back in the village for a few days to visit family. And we laugh and hug and swap news as we drink hot chocolate after the service.
Mags had a lovely Pause Post this week about the ‘mulling pot’ – rich in fruit and spices, warm and colourful, full of flavour – and likened it to the other meaning of the word ‘mull’ – to ponder.
Mary kept all these things, and mulled over them in her heart. I too have been ‘mulling it over’ – looking back at the last year [well, the last 19 years actually] and seeing how God has led us and blessed us. Life here has been rich, and full – with variety and spice and colour – so much joy, but not cloyingly sweet. At Christmas we usually read John 1 – In the beginning was the Word …this year I shall be going on into chapter 2 as well, and thinking about that first miracle – the water turned into wine. We have been provided for, every step of the way, in our time here, far more abundantly than we could ever have dreamed of. So much to be thankful for…