After Christmas The Work Begins

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AFTER CHRISTMAS

Work of Christmas Begins . . . . .  . Howard Thurman (adapted)

When the song of the angels is stilled,

when the star in the sky is gone,

when the kings and princes are home,

when the shepherds are back with the flocks,

then the work of Christmas begins:

to find the lost,

to heal those broken in spirit,

to feed the hungry,

to release the oppressed,

to rebuild the nations,

to bring peace among all peoples,

to make a little music with the heart…

And to radiate the Light of Christ,

every day, in every way,

in all that we do and in all that we say.

Then the work of Christmas begins.

The message of the Feast of Epiphany

announces to all people, everywhere:

Rise up in splendour…your light has come,

The Glory of the Lord shines upon you!

Let the work of Christmas begin,

and let it begin with you.

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Post-Christmas Prayer

Long after the angels disappear into the heavens, the shepherds return to their flocks, the magi journey home and the great star sets, Jesus remains.

The Child in whom we rediscover God’s great love for humanity becomes the adult Redeemer who challenges us to imitate his selflessness and compassion in order that we might transform our world in love…

May we allow the miracle of Christmas to continue long after the holiday trappings have been packed away;

May we welcome the adult Messiah and his challenging Gospel to recreate our lives, making the peace, justice and hope of this holy season a reality in every season of the New Year.”

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Compassion

Some thoughts for after Christmas.

IF I CAN HELP SOMEBODY

Written in 1945 by Alma Bazel Androzzo, made famous by Mahalia Jackson,

a hit in 1951 for Irish tenor Joseph Locke

If I can help somebody, as I pass along,

If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song,

If I can show somebody, how they’re travelling wrong,

Then my living shall not be in vain.

Chorus: My living shall not be in vain,

Then my living shall not be in vain

If I can help somebody, as I pass along,

Then my living shall not be in vain.

If I can do my duty, as a good man ought,

If I can bring back beauty, to a world up wrought,

If I can spread love’s message, as the Master taught,

Then my living shall not be in vain.

Chorus: My living shall not be in vain,

Then my living shall not be in vain

If I can help somebody, as I pass along,

Then my living shall not be in vain.

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Many people have been coping with difficult situations during the last year or more.  It looks like we have a lot more difficult times to get through in the coming months of this year too!  

Whatever you are faced with today or this year, God will give you the strength and the provision to succeed in your task, if you pray and ask for His help and then trust Him completely.

Bible verses Proverbs 3 verses 1-6

1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heartand lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him,and

He will make your paths straight. (Or will direct your paths.) 

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TRIAL OF FAITH       TRUST

TRUST 2   TRUST 3

TRUST 4   TRUST 5

    TRUST 6

I have found this to be true! Great your strength if great your need!

When life is going great and we have few worries, we find it easier to thank God, to smile and to feel contented. There is nothing wrong with that, but when life is hard and bad things happen, it is very hard to be cheerful all the time. However, no matter how difficult our situation or circumstances, we can get through these times if we continue to put God first place in our lives. The way we put God first in our lives will vary from person to person because we are all unique, but I think we know, inwardly, when we are being selfish and not following The Lord. If we feel helpless and do not know where to turn, it is hard to just trust God completely, but it works! He knows what you are going through. He knows all things. He knows when you have been badly treated. He knows that you feel hurt, frightened and unsure of what to do. He suffered all these things when He lived on earth as a man. The world now, is not perfect like it was when He created it. Consequently we have trouble and problems in the world, but God is still in complete control. Trust God completely and you will come through your troubles stronger and wiser. You will have more compassion for people. God allows us to face problems in order that we will grow in our spirit. He is working in us to change us, to make us ready for Heaven, where we will live one day, if we personally make Jesus the Saviour and Lord of our life. Jesus is the only way to be forgiven of all our sin and made ready for eternal life in Heaven one day. That day may be when we die, or Jesus could return to earth before we die and take us to Heaven.

(No-one knows when that will be except God the Father.) Matthew Chapter 24 Verse 36

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

(I recommend that you read all of Matthew Chapter 24.)

If you are going through trials or suffering in your life at the moment, it does not necessarily mean that you are doing something wrong, which is what we are inclined to think when troubles arise. Even when you fully trust God you may still feel frightened or worried, but you can be confident that God will shield you. I know that many people in the world nowadays to have to face danger, but in a lot of the things we go through as Christians we are not actually in any danger, God is just making us stronger so that when we come through our trials we will be able to help others cope with their difficulties.

Helen Keller

Whatsoever

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:1-5

1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;

4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.  

5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Hebrews 12:1-11

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

God Disciplines His Children

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

SOLDIER

The words of these three hymns help me so much to persevere in the Christian way of life.

KNIGHT

 He Who would Valiant Be.

He who would valiant be ‘gainst all disaster,

let him in constancy follow the Master.

There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent

his first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.

Who so beset him round with dismal stories

do but themselves confound his strength the more is.

No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,

he will make good his right to be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, thou dost defend us with thy Spirit,

We know we at the end, shall life inherit.

Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,

                                                    I’ll labour night and day to be a pilgrim.                                                         

Words by John Bunyan, 1684 (Writer of Pilgrims Progress.)  as modified by Percy Dearmer, 1906

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Soldiers 

Onward, Christian Soldiers

Words: Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924 Music: Arthur S. Sullivan, 1842-1900

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,

with the cross of Jesus going on before.

Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;

forward into battle see his banners go!

Refrain:

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,

with the cross of Jesus going on before.

 

At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee;

on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!

Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise;

brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.

(Refrain)

 

Like a mighty army moves the church of God;

brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.

We are not divided, all one body we,

one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.

(Refrain)

 

Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,

but the church of Jesus constant will remain.

Gates of hell can never ’gainst that church prevail;

we have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.

(Refrain)

 

Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,

blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.

Glory, laud, and honour unto Christ the King,

this through countless ages men and angels sing.

(Refrain)

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 KNIGHT 3

OFT IN DANGER, OFT IN WOE   

Words by Henry Kirke White, first printed in 1812, and added to by Frances Fuller-Maitland 1827.

Oft in danger, oft in woe,

onward, Christian, onward go:

bear the toil; maintain the strife,

strengthened with the Bread of Life.

Onward Christians, onward go,

join the war and face the foe;

will ye flee in danger’s hour?

Know ye not your Captain’s power?

Let your drooping hearts be glad:

march in heavenly armour clad: fight,

nor think the battle long,

victory soon shall be your song.

Let not sorrow dim your eye,

soon shall every tear be dry;

let not fears your course impede,

great your strength, if great your need.

Onward then in battle move,

more than conquerors ye shall prove;

though opposed by many a foe,

Christian soldiers, onward go.

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