Sunday 22nd. December, 2013 – The Fourth Sunday of Advent 

During the service this morning the fourth candle of Advent was lit

It was really cold when I got up this morning and, walking the dog, I saw lots of snow by the roadside and flooding in the fields. After breakfast, Rachel, Mum and I set off for Gavinton Church – there was more snow in Gavinton and the minister spoke of real snow and icy conditions on her way to Church.

The service was well attended (thirty-four folk, I think, which is one or two more than normal) and it was a good service. The theme, continuing on the triple theme of previous advent Sundays, was Magnificat, Joseph and Immanuel. We looked at Mary’s Song of Praise having been confronted with the angel and his message about her impending pregnancy and her willingness to respond to God’s will (a model for our own response) which in turn leads to a changed world – for it is as we respond to God’s will that the world becomes a different place. Ann read the scripture about Joseph’s dream and a meditation about his experience – the Christmas story is also a story about Joseph’s response to God’s challenge. Finally we looked at the passage from Isaiah where the birth of a child will foreshadow the salvation of his people, Ann set this passage in its historical context and explained how the mystery of the virgin birth had been created in part as the story made its way from Hebrew through Greek to the people of New Testament times. We sang some good carols and afterwards joined everyone else for coffee in the Church Hall.

There were beautiful flowers in Church this morning

Back home we set about moving furniture in the farmhouse, most notably taking a sofa from the lounge into one of the barns to make room for the dining table to be used in comfort and to make way for the Christmas Tree which Digger was to buy later in the day. I went off with Mum to a ‘cheerful Carol Singalong’ in Gavinton Village Hall. There must have been about forty-five of us, congregation and village folk (including quite a few children) in the hall and we sang carols (the words projected on the wall), watched a short nativity film from New Zealand, and enjoyed mulled wine and mince-meat pies. Later in the afternoon, after some games, Santa visited the hall with a present for each child.

Back in the Granary, I responded to an email from Neil from Arrochar and prepared additional midi files for some extra carols which they will sing on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Rachel went off to Berwick to Choral Evensong and on her return we all ate in the farmhouse. Back in the Granary we dozed in front of the stove (our home is so very warm) and then, after walking the dogs in the freezing cold, it was time for bed. It has been a lovely weekend.

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