If you want to know more about the Methodist Church visit the Methodist Web Site.
One of my greatest desires is to experience the Northern lights. Although previously unlikely to ever be fulfilled, the last couple of years or so have seen the normally very infrequent opportunity to witness them in the UK being changed and on several occasions, even as far south as where we are, the Northern Lights have been visible. Alas, on each and every occasion I have not heard about them being visible until the following morning. On one occasion, a couple of years back, I had left for home in Darlington less than half an hour before people were photographing the mesmerising spectacle from Saltburn beach! Argh!
In a similar way, in the Christmas story we also hear of the birth of a very special baby, announced by angelic choirs, "In the darkness of the still night" (as a lovely hymn by Margaret Rizza expresses it). At that time only a very few people were watchful enough and ready to respond so as to witness that spectacle - the vast majority missed out or only heard about it later!
Hearing about Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, is nothing like experiencing him in your life! In celebrating his birth we experience again the power of his presence in our lives, not just recall an old story. So in the frenetic activity of December and amongst all the paraphernalia which goes with Christmas celebrations in our country, please do not miss the opportunity to experience God come to earth in the baby Jesus.
Please do come to the carol services and other events in church, but don't just come to hear an age-old story and sing familiar carols (or grumble if you don't know some of the great new ones!) but come to experience the change that Jesus can make in your life as you gaze into the eyes of a baby and find yourself gazing level-eyed into the eyes of God who came to earth so that you could know him and experience his love and peace.
We wish you joy and peace this Christmas.