6th December 2018
As I was driving into work early Tuesday morning, my attention was caught by the sight of a bright planet in the sky with a crescent moon beside it. It was still dark and for once the sky was clear. It was a perfect picture, one which I wish I could have photographed somehow. For a moment my attention was drawn away from the busy day ahead of me, as I reflected on the magnificence of God’s creation. And since we are also approaching Christmas, I was naturally reminded of the Magi following the star in the east to worship Jesus.
I am no expert in astronomy, but a quick Google search tells me the planet I saw on Tuesday morning was Venus. Apparently, it shines brightest in the morning sky in late November and early December and is, according to one piece I read, ‘a star in the east which shines like a modern-day Christmas star’. It is there each year, yet this is the first time I can remember really noticing it. How many other times have I driven to work at this time of year and not seen it?
When something becomes very familiar, we often fail to notice or appreciate it. The stars and planets are there all the time, but I rarely take the time to stop and gaze at them. The same can be true of the Christmas story itself. Christmas has become a secular celebration for the majority of this country, but I suspect most people could give a rough approximation of the story of Jesus’ birth. But for many it has simply become another part of the Christmas season, along with Father Christmas, turkey and mince pies.
This Christmas at King’s we want to offer people a moment to stop and think. We want to invite them to pause and wonder, to ask themselves, could the Christmas story be true? Could it be more than a nice story for children? What if it is, as many of us believe, a true account of God loving us so much, He was prepared to come to us as a human, to live among us and die for us?
I want to encourage you to invite your friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues to come along to one of the eight carol services we are putting on over the next few weeks. We also have six Family Christmas Services, which last just over an hour and are always lots of fun. Carol services are taking place at all four sites and include carols, performance pieces, readings and a short talk. Details of times and venues can be found on the King’s website and invites are available to collect on all sites. They are always fantastic events, and the video below gives a taster of what to expect.
Maybe this will be the year the person you invite stops and wonders. Maybe this will be their moment to start asking those big questions and uncover the true wonder of Christmas.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham, Lee and Beckenham. The church has seen continued growth since the mid-1990s, both in terms of size and diversity.
As well as leading King’s, Steve hosts and leads Newfrontiers, a fellowship of apostolic leaders with hundreds of churches around the world.
Steve is married to Deb. They have three grown up sons and one grandson.