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The Church of the Ascension

Middlesbrough

 

Parish Notices – Sunday 9th December 2018

 

Sunday 9th December 2018                 10:00 am CONFIRMATION

Celebrant & Preacher Revd Paul Ferguson Bishop of Whitby

Assist by the Revd Peter Bristow.

 

We pray for Natalie and Paul on their Special Day

 

Please note there will be light refreshments in the hall afterwards.

 

Monday 10th December 2018                 5:30 pm.           Office Hour

 

Wednesday 11th December 2018           9:15 am.          Mass    

Celebrant & Preacher – to be confirmed

 

Sunday 16th December 2018.                9:15 am           Parish Mass

Celebrant & Preacher Revd Peter Bristow

 

Sunday 23rd December 2018.                9:15 am           Parish Mass

Celebrant & Preacher Revd Dominic Black

 

Sunday 23rd December 2018.                4:00 pm            Carol Service

Led by the Revd Peter Bristow

Followed by refreshments in the Church Hall

 

Monday 24th December 2018                 4:00 pm            Crib Service

Led by the Revd Peter Bristow and the children.

 

Please note that there will be no evening service here at the Ascension,

However there are alternative services at Holy Trinity North Ormesby & St Hilda’s Grangetown.         

 

Tuesday 25th December 2018                9:15 am            Parish Mass

Celebrant & Preacher Revd Peter Bristow

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Christmas story is one most of us have heard so many times that it might become over familiar and we stop considering the enormity of its meaning. So this year, as we prepare for the great festival of Our Lord’s birth, let’s pretend we are hearing it for the very first time. It begins with a young woman named Mary from a small backwater village in Israel who was visited by an angel and given a message from God. The startling message was this: Mary was ‘highly favoured by God’ and had been chosen to bear a son who would be called, ‘the Son of the Most High God.’ Have we fully imagined what a shock this would be? Do we ever wonder about her feelings or try to understand her confusion? She could have said, ‘no’. It was frightening and dangerous to say, ‘yes’, at a time when pregnancy outside of marriage could result in being stoned to death. She might have wondered, ‘why me?’ but she seems to have had such trust in God, and such confidence in him, that she doesn’t refuse by making excuses. She is just curious about how it might be possible and the answer is given, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you and God’s power will rest upon you.’ This is where we are shown the strength of her faith as she gives her assent. ‘Be it unto me according to your Word.’

The Word of God makes all things possible. When it is obeyed miracles happen. She may not have understood everything in the angel’s message but she did have an understanding of God. We are given a choice to choose, or not to choose, God’s call. In the beginning, in the book of Genesis, Eve doubted God’s Word and disobeyed him. Sin came into the world and the result was death. Mary believed and cooperated with God’s plan. His Son was born into the world and the result was life.

This year, as we consider the Christmas story let us make a new commitment to God by saying ‘yes’ to him. We may not know where his call might lead us but we can have faith that his love will guide and protect us.

                                            Marion

 

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