Come and stand amazed.

It’s Christmas Eve, a few really quick thoughts as the excitement levels are rising. The kids at home are racing around, shouting, singing, beginning their celebrations.

I love the end of advent, I love all of advent! the busyness, waiting and preparations suddenly stop as Christmas arrives.

Everyone has to stop, shops shut, we gather together, no more getting ready. It’s here! Come and stand amazed…at how many presents you have? At how much food there is? At what God has done?

This afternoon I am leading Christingle services at All Saints in Ilkley. For many these services mark the end of the getting ready and the beginning of their Christmas celebrations. Standing in the gap between preparation and arrival, an orange, a candle, red ribbon and a few sweets – telling of God’s story of redemption and restoration through Jesus, the light in an often dark and confusing world.

I have been thinking about how to lead the service, my talk and how it will be heard by a church full of families. Mary and Joseph and the nativity characters also stood in the gap between get ready and he has arrived. As I prepare I feel under qualified, with little to offer.

I have made a simple little collection of photos from my phone, our year as a family. Highlights include visiting Uganda, Iva being born and time as a growing family together.

Rewind 10 years and life for me was hopeless – I stood on the brink of darkness. Everything lost and that’s when into that darkness came God’s light and life.

As I look at his film I am reminded of a passage from the Bible.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God lead me out of darkness and as Christmas arrives I can’t comprehend what God has done, I look at the change in my life and I stand amazed.

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