It fell to our Year 5 class to lead the third of our Advent liturgies this week and it was a beautiful service which reminded us that as we continue on our journey through Advent, we find ourselves ever closer to Christmas and the celebration of God’s gift of his Son to the world. The Reading shared, came from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
That night as usual, the shepherds of Bethlehem were out on the hills watching over their sheep. They were all sitting around the fire to keep warm.Suddenly, the night sky above the shepherds became a blaze of light and an angel of the Lord appeared to them. The shepherds covered their eyes because they were afraid. They wondered what was happening. “Do not be afraid,” said the angel. “I come with good news for you and the whole world. A special baby has been born in Bethlehem today. He is God’s promised king – your Saviour. Go and see him. He is sleeping in a manger. Then all the angels began singing.
Through readings, hymns and prayers, the children of Y5 recalled how the people of Israel had been waiting hundreds of years for the promised one, the Messiah. Yet it was the lowliest and most unimportant of people, the shepherds, who were summoned by angels to be the first to see to see the baby king. God was sending his people a powerful message: blessed are those who are poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
As we all left the hall silently, we remembered the words of the final prayer:
Father God, we thank you and praise you for the miracle of Your Son’s birth. Thank you for the great joy you brought to the world. Prepare our hearts for the coming of Our Lord, Jesus, and may our lives reflect His love and His glory. Lord God, let us be ready for Your coming.