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This is the website for the mission and ministry of Manningtree Benefice: St. Mary & St. Michael' Church, Mistley with Manningtree and St. Lawrence's Church, Bradfield, including service, group and event information, contact details, media, and information about Mistley Church Hall (Mistley Institute).

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Friday, 19 December 2014

Do you see what I see?



Every year, I become accidentally obsessed with a Christmas song. It is never intentional. It just gets under my skin.

One year, it was the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing The First Noel. It gave me shivers.

Last year, it was Michael Card's Immanuel. I'll be honest- this one was part excellent words, part arrangement that sounds a lot like Muppet Christmas Carol. 

This year, we have a surprise winner. Do you hear what I hear? 
The night wind whispers to a little lamb to look up and see a star with a tail as big as a kite. 
The lamb talks (problematic, but true) to a shepherd boy, asking if he, too, hears a song with a voice as big as the sea. 
The shepherd boy asks a mighty king (he clearly has connections...) if he knows that there is a child worthy of silver and gold. 
And the king tells the people everywhere to pray for peace, because there is a child who will bring goodness and light.

Yes, I know it's weird.

There's something, however, which is lovely about this song. It conjures up images of the whole of creation waiting on tiptoe to see the birth of Immanuel, the one whose voice alone is as big as the seas. It reclaims the beauty of creation as a whisper of the good news of Jesus.

It makes me want to approach everyone I know, and ask: do you know what I know? 

We've had some cracking sermons over this Christmas period so far, and I really encourage you to go and listen to them again, and dig in to the Christmas story.

One of the things that I've heard that has really stuck with me, was that Christmas is not just about the once-for-all birth of Jesus. There's a great line in a Graham Kendrick song that says: "If we keep Him in the manger, then there is no danger, from the Christmas Child." It's tempting to keep Jesus in the manger. To just have this as a lovely story, and carefully pack Him away again in the New Year.

But, no. Christmas is about the on-going Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Jesus, God-with-us, is with us today, making a difference in our lives today. And tomorrow. And throughout Christmas. And through the New Year. And on and on and on ...

So look for the signs of God-with-us, listen for the voice that has been from the beginning, and is as big as the sea and then tell others what you know.

Happy Christmas.


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