Nine Lessons and Carols: Eighth Lesson – Matthew 2 vv 1-12

23 12 2014

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written:

‘“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.”’
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.’

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”





Nine Lessons and Carols: Seventh Lesson – Luke 2 vv 8-16

22 12 2014

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.”





Nine Lessons and Carols: Sixth Lesson – Luke 2 vv 1, 3-7

21 12 2014

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.”

“And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”





Nine Lessons and Carols: Fifth Lesson – Luke 1 vv 26-35, 38

20 12 2014

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants for ever; his kingdom will never end.’

‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’

The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

“‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.”





Nine Lessons and Carols: Fourth Lesson – Isaiah 11 vv 1-3a, 4a, 6-9

19 12 2014

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him –
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord –
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.”

“but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.”

“The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.”





Nine Lessons and Carols: Third Lesson – Isaiah 9 vv 2, 6-7

18 12 2014

“The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.”

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and for ever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.”





Nine Lessons and Carols: Second Lesson – Genesis 22 vv 15-18

17 12 2014

“The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, ‘I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.’”





Nine Lessons and Carols: First Lesson – Genesis 3 vv 8-19

16 12 2014

I’ve always heard of this “Nine Lessons and Carols” service, and had always assumed they just picked nine suitable readings and carols each year. I didn’t realise that while the carols may change, the readings are very much set in stone. So I thought, in the 9 days leading up to Christmas, to just post each one on my blog as a reflection as it’s a couple of years since I did my advent posts.

Here’s the first:

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’

He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’

And he said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?’

The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’

Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’

The woman said, ‘The snake deceived me, and I ate.’

So the Lord God said to the snake, ‘Because you have done this,

‘Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.’
To the woman he said,

‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labour you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.’
To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat from it,”

‘Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.’”





The Angels Knew

26 12 2013

This year at Romsey Baptist they learnt a new song over the Christmas period which we then all sang Christmas morning at the ecumenical service.

I really like it, good words and good tune, but a couple of bits I thought were particularly interesting about it.

  • It’s a bit odd how between the verses and the chorus, sometimes there’s a break of a couple of bars or so, and sometimes it goes straight in, and you can never really tell.
  • What I really like about it though is how in the chorus, I never really worked out the tune – everyone was singing different notes together and it sounded really beautiful. We were encouraged on Christmas morning to sing any harmony that fitted over it and sing like the angels!

Enjoy 🙂





Friday Five Favourites: Christmas Adverts 2013

13 12 2013

Quite a few feel-good, inspirational Christmas adverts around this year 🙂 Wasn’t a fan of the John Lewis one this year – I’m less against it now, but it just doesn’t explain it’s own plot very well, and definitely not worth £7million

Coca Cola – quite a different message to normal!

Boots – it’s been a bit overplayed this year, but I do like it

Sainsburys – love this one, particularly spreadsheet man, and the family at the very end 🙂

Carphone Warehouse – bit of a more light hearted one!

Marks & Spencer – everyone loves a spoof of childrens’ stories 🙂