Stokesley Bear: December 2016
The star led me on Sunday 18 December, the fourth Sunday in advent, to Easby Chapel where their afternoon service was a carol service. Rev Lisa led the service which was their
part of the usual afternoon service at Easby. On the front table there was a pop-up nativity book, the advent candles (we had the fork handles/four candles joke), and a book with the title 'Refuge'.
The service started with the hymn 'Jesus stand among us in thy risen power'. I was expecting a carol but the hymn really made me think about why I was there — not just to sing carols but to worship God together. Lisa asked us what we would like to give thanks for. I wasn't brave enough to say anything at the service but I think that I would like to give thanks for all the people I have met travelling around the circuit this advent.
We then heard the story of the sad Christmas cracker. The story reminded me of the cracker that I opened at the Christmas lunch at Great Ayton. Lisa brought with her a giant Christmas cracker, which she got some help to pull. Inside we were reminded that there was:
- a gift, which represents the wise men's gift and gets us to think what we bring to Jesus
- a crown to remind us that Jesus is king
- a motto/joke to make us think of God's word to us at Christmas time.
As at Seamer's All Age Nativity, Lisa gave out a hand-made stocking full of presents to someone in the congregation. Next year their task is to fill the stocking with presents and give it to someone else. We were reminded that Christmas is not just about receiving but giving and heard two volunteers talk about their experience of going to 'Tickle the Tastebuds' charity to help to serve Christmas lunch. As I received a Christmas tree shaped chocolate biscuit and drink, I wondered what gifts I would give this Christmas.
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