This Week at St. Stephen’s–December 20, 2015

CHRISTMAS: IN WORD AND SONG

dec 20This afternoon we gather to hear—in word and in song—a story that has changed the world: the birth of a baby to a young couple who are caught up in dark events that rise up on every side, dwarfing them. Their world had all the upheaval of an earthquake, yet we follow them through their precarious journey—that leads not only to safety, but indeed, to the salvation of the world.

Of course, the Christmas story is a relatively modern invention of our imaginations. It does not exist in the Bible as a single narrative. Rather it picks up narrative strands scattered across four hundred years of religious writing and orders those strands into the story we know today.

But it is the story we need to hear: the humble birth of the one who will prove to be our saviour; the victory of light over darkness; the promise of God’s powerful presence even in our most vulnerable and frightening moments.

It is a story of the heart, not of the head—for the details only serve to confuse us. It is best told, not with a preacher’s fury, but with a storyteller’s grace. And it is best heard accompanied by the sacred music that the story itself has inspired through the ages.

So this year we present once again a Festival of Lessons and Carols, narrated by voice actor Maureen Jones with music presented by music director Jeff Jones. Come and hear the message of the angels.

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