Last year was our eldest daughter's first conscious experience of Christmas, and there was something very special about it! But this year will be a first for all of us celebrating Christmas as a church family at Trinity at Four! We'll be talking about it together over the coming Sundays, but here is a little food for thought on how we can all make the most of our first Christmas together.
1. Be excited about Jesus yourself
Let’s be honest, it’s easy to let Jesus get buried under a great pile of wrapping up paper, children’s stockings, Christmas food and unfinished to-dos. But we’ll have a hard time communicating the brilliance of Jesus to friends if he doesn’t feel brilliant to us.
Why not get a set of Advent readings and set aside 10 minutes each day? I would highly recommend any of Tim Chester’s series of three.
2. Make Jesus the most exciting thing about Christmas at home
Kids love Christmas! But the truth is, all the sparkle and presents and chocolate, as exciting as they are (and they are!!), are not as exciting as God come down to earth that we might know him and have an eternity with him. So if you are parents, think ‘how can we make Jesus the most exciting thing about Christmas this year?’ Of course the answer isn’t to make those other things less exciting, but to make Jesus more exciting!
3. Personally invite friends to our Christmas events and services
Christmas is a great opportunity to invite non-church friends along! Our specific Christmas services are all detailed on the website. But all of our services in December will have a strong focus on Jesus at Christmas, and would be great for a non-church friend. There is also a great opportunity for women with the Christmas wreath making event on 6th December.
Why not think of a few friends to invite along, and give them the full range of options on dates? And try not to wait till the last minute. We all know how crazy things get…
4. Resist a consumerist Christmas!
Christmas is not just about stuff. Think of ways you can live that out distinctively, and teach that to your children. Why not do the 'reverse advent calendar', which we will be talking about at church, with children? Popping a small item in a shoe-box on each day of advent, which we will then donate to the Henley food-bank in the new year. Mandy Wright is coordinating this, so contact her if you want to know more.
5. Get involved with our witness in the parish
At Trinity we have a parish that covers 70% of Henley. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if between us we could drop our Christmas services information through every door? There are 61 streets to cover. So if we took one street each, we would be getting there! Could you do that? There will be a sign up sheet at church over the next few weeks.
Also, on Tuesday 4th December at 8pm, we are holding a special prayer evening at the church for all of our Christmas outreach. Come if you possibly can!