Listen to today's reflection through the app
There are so many things in the world we can’t quite explain or which take our breath away. And when we find something amazing it can be hard to stop ourselves trying to find out more.

6 By your strength you established the mountains;
    you are girded with might.
7 You silence the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    the tumult of the peoples.
8 Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.

9 You visit the earth and water it,
    you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
    you provide the people with grain,
    for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly,
    settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
    and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty;
    your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
    the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
    the valleys deck themselves with grain,
    they shout and sing together for joy.

There’s no doubt that the universe is an amazing place. There are trillions of stars out there and each one is a small miracle of gas and gravity. Looking at the stars in the night sky tells a story that started millions of years ago. Only now do we see the light that started its journey back before most of our ancestors were born.

Every star is incredible, and yet the wise men, looking up, had to wonder what they were seeing. These men who studied the skies and who knew the stars inside out could still be amazed. In the midst of God’s spectacular creation, something unusual called to them and opened their minds to look in awe.
Stand outside and look into the night sky.
What amazes you? What is it about the world God created that makes you wonder?
Father, we thank you for the things you have made that amaze us. Help us to keep looking in wonder. Amen.
 

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Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Thu, 26 Dec 2019 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-one https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-christmas-reflections-day-one

#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day one

 

Day 1 Christmas Day - Star
Listen to today's reflection through the app
We all have questions: big ones and small ones. Some questions, though, might change the course of our lives when we search for the answers.
Read Matthew 2.1-8
1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 
6 “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
   who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’
Reflect
Curiosity is a powerful thing. The urge to find out more can lead us in all sorts of directions and it certainly leads the wise men to leave their homes and journey towards an unknown place, following only an unusual star. The wise men have noticed that something is out of the ordinary, something that pulls them, something they can’t ignore.

Today, on Christmas Day, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. He is the promised king, the child the wise men eventually find and worship. But they’re not there yet. For now, they’re still on the journey. They still have questions. They’re still searching but they know that what they find will be worth it.
Challenge
Where are you on your journey with God?
What questions do you have about Jesus?

Write down your questions and your thoughts and see what answers you find through the next few days.
Pray
God of surprises, we bring our questions to you. Show us more about Jesus as we travel through the coming days. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Share this #FollowTheStar reflection with your family and friends
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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#FollowTheStar Christmas reflections - Day one

 

Day 1 Christmas Day - Star
Listen to today's reflection through the app
We all have questions: big ones and small ones. Some questions, though, might change the course of our lives when we search for the answers.
Read Matthew 2.1-8
1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 
6 “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
   who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’
Reflect
Curiosity is a powerful thing. The urge to find out more can lead us in all sorts of directions and it certainly leads the wise men to leave their homes and journey towards an unknown place, following only an unusual star. The wise men have noticed that something is out of the ordinary, something that pulls them, something they can’t ignore.

Today, on Christmas Day, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. He is the promised king, the child the wise men eventually find and worship. But they’re not there yet. For now, they’re still on the journey. They still have questions. They’re still searching but they know that what they find will be worth it.
Challenge
Where are you on your journey with God?
What questions do you have about Jesus?

Write down your questions and your thoughts and see what answers you find through the next few days.
Pray
God of surprises, we bring our questions to you. Show us more about Jesus as we travel through the coming days. Amen.
 

View today's family craft activity

 
Share this #FollowTheStar reflection with your family and friends
 
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet Follow The Star: 12 Days of Christmas Wonder by Mina Munns are copyright 2019 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Wed, 25 Dec 2019 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-advent-reflections-week-four https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-advent-reflections-week-four

Your fourth and final #FollowTheStar weekly Advent reflection

 

This is the final weekly Advent reflection as part of this series.
Your next set of reflections will begin on Christmas Day and run until 5th January, continuing with our #FollowTheStar theme.
This week’s Advent #FollowTheStar reflection from Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley
Share this message with your family and friends
There is nothing more satisfying than a finished to-do list. It feels like such an achievement to be able to say, “I have done it all. I am officially ready.” Human beings love this sense of being in control, of mastering the world around them. Which is probably why Christmas is so difficult. Because we might prepare the practicalities, but to be ready for Christmas, for the coming of God, asks us to put our to do lists aside, and simply open ourselves up to God.

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34 Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ 35 The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 38 Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

This is the radical message of the Christian Gospel – we can’t find our way to God by our own effort, Instead, God comes to us, seeks us out and offers us grace. All we bring is ourselves, as we are, in truth and openness. To be ready for God, maybe we need to “unlearn” the things we’ve been doing or thinking – that we need to make ourselves “worthy” or “good enough”. Preparing ourselves for Christmas means being completely open to God and being ready to throw our lists away.

Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley

 
Find out more about #FollowTheStar
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Your fourth and final #FollowTheStar weekly Advent reflection

 

This is the final weekly Advent reflection as part of this series.
Your next set of reflections will begin on Christmas Day and run until 5th January, continuing with our #FollowTheStar theme.
This week’s Advent #FollowTheStar reflection from Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley
Share this message with your family and friends
There is nothing more satisfying than a finished to-do list. It feels like such an achievement to be able to say, “I have done it all. I am officially ready.” Human beings love this sense of being in control, of mastering the world around them. Which is probably why Christmas is so difficult. Because we might prepare the practicalities, but to be ready for Christmas, for the coming of God, asks us to put our to do lists aside, and simply open ourselves up to God.

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34 Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ 35 The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 38 Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

This is the radical message of the Christian Gospel – we can’t find our way to God by our own effort, Instead, God comes to us, seeks us out and offers us grace. All we bring is ourselves, as we are, in truth and openness. To be ready for God, maybe we need to “unlearn” the things we’ve been doing or thinking – that we need to make ourselves “worthy” or “good enough”. Preparing ourselves for Christmas means being completely open to God and being ready to throw our lists away.

Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley

 
Find out more about #FollowTheStar
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Sun, 22 Dec 2019 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-advent-reflections-week-three https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-advent-reflections-week-three

Your third #FollowTheStar weekly Advent reflection

 

This week’s Advent #FollowTheStar reflection from Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley
Share this message with your family and friends
The third week of Advent celebrates John the Baptist, whose entire life was dedicated to pointing to glory beyond himself: pointing to the life of Jesus sharing his delight and awe at what God was doing. Advent is profoundly challenging because it invites us to look, and point, away from ourselves. It calls us to prepare the way for someone else.

1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
    the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
    and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
    the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
    the majesty of our God.

3 Strengthen the weak hands,
    and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
    ‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
    He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
    He will come and save you.’

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then the lame shall leap like a deer,
    and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
    and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool,
    and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
    the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

8 A highway shall be there,
    and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
    but it shall be for God’s people;
    no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray.
9 No lion shall be there,
    nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
    but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
    and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain joy and gladness,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The questions are insistent in Advent: Who is it in our communities that we need to make space for? Who is unseen? We need to lose our preoccupation with the castles of the world and remember the sheds.

As we look beyond ourselves, we may find God in surprising places. With the refugee, the homeless, those who grieve. Advent and Christmas can be times of desolation for those who are alone, forgotten, or grieving the loss of those they love. Whoever we are, we are called to look beyond ourselves, to the God who promises to walk with us on the way.

Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley

 
Find out more about #FollowTheStar
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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]]-->

 

Your third #FollowTheStar weekly Advent reflection

 

This week’s Advent #FollowTheStar reflection from Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley
Share this message with your family and friends
The third week of Advent celebrates John the Baptist, whose entire life was dedicated to pointing to glory beyond himself: pointing to the life of Jesus sharing his delight and awe at what God was doing. Advent is profoundly challenging because it invites us to look, and point, away from ourselves. It calls us to prepare the way for someone else.

1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
    the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
    and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
    the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
    the majesty of our God.

3 Strengthen the weak hands,
    and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
    ‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
    He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
    He will come and save you.’

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then the lame shall leap like a deer,
    and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
    and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool,
    and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,
    the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

8 A highway shall be there,
    and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,
    but it shall be for God’s people;
    no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray.
9 No lion shall be there,
    nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
    but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
    and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
    they shall obtain joy and gladness,
    and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

The questions are insistent in Advent: Who is it in our communities that we need to make space for? Who is unseen? We need to lose our preoccupation with the castles of the world and remember the sheds.

As we look beyond ourselves, we may find God in surprising places. With the refugee, the homeless, those who grieve. Advent and Christmas can be times of desolation for those who are alone, forgotten, or grieving the loss of those they love. Whoever we are, we are called to look beyond ourselves, to the God who promises to walk with us on the way.

Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley

 
Find out more about #FollowTheStar
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Sun, 15 Dec 2019 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/watch-now-our-followthestar-christmas-ad-has-just-gone-live https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/watch-now-our-followthestar-christmas-ad-has-just-gone-live

Watch now: our #FollowTheStar Christmas ad has just gone live!

 

 

We've just launched our 2019 #FollowTheStar advert, encouraging people to come to church to discover the joy of Christmas! Click the play button above to watch.

 

Please share this video with your family and friends on social media using the links below:

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Watch now: our #FollowTheStar Christmas ad has just gone live!

 

 

We've just launched our 2019 #FollowTheStar advert, encouraging people to come to church to discover the joy of Christmas! Click the play button above to watch.

 

Please share this video with your family and friends on social media using the links below:

Share Share
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Sun, 08 Dec 2019 07:45:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-advent-reflections-week-two https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-advent-reflections-week-two

Your second #FollowTheStar weekly Advent reflection

 

This week’s Advent #FollowTheStar reflection from Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley
Share this message with your family and friends
Advent calls us to look at the deeper truths of life. It calls us to see God at work even when everything looks bleak and hopeless. It calls us to see injustice and inequality behind the apparent wealth and ease of our society.

This is why we read the prophets in Advent. They were truth-tellers. Uncomfortable, awkward, at times offensive.

1 A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
    and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
    the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the spirit of counsel and might,
    the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide by what his ears hear;
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

This Advent, we are called to see the world through God’s eyes: in truth and in love. To see every person we meet as God sees them. Right now, in the run-up to Christmas, churches are opening their doors to those who are homeless and vulnerable. We see people as they truly are – made in the image of God. By offering a warm bed and a meal we say that we belong together as children of God. It’s also about speaking the truth to the wider world, saying “This cannot be!” and calling for change.

This Advent let us ask God to open our eyes and heart to see truth in every area of our lives, and to see God in the face of all those we meet.

Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley

 
Find out more about #FollowTheStar
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Your second #FollowTheStar weekly Advent reflection

 

This week’s Advent #FollowTheStar reflection from Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley
Share this message with your family and friends
Advent calls us to look at the deeper truths of life. It calls us to see God at work even when everything looks bleak and hopeless. It calls us to see injustice and inequality behind the apparent wealth and ease of our society.

This is why we read the prophets in Advent. They were truth-tellers. Uncomfortable, awkward, at times offensive.

1 A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
    and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
    the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the spirit of counsel and might,
    the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide by what his ears hear;
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

This Advent, we are called to see the world through God’s eyes: in truth and in love. To see every person we meet as God sees them. Right now, in the run-up to Christmas, churches are opening their doors to those who are homeless and vulnerable. We see people as they truly are – made in the image of God. By offering a warm bed and a meal we say that we belong together as children of God. It’s also about speaking the truth to the wider world, saying “This cannot be!” and calling for change.

This Advent let us ask God to open our eyes and heart to see truth in every area of our lives, and to see God in the face of all those we meet.

Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley

 
Find out more about #FollowTheStar
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Sun, 08 Dec 2019 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-advent-reflections-week-one https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/followthestar-2019-advent-reflections-week-one

The Archbishop of Canterbury's #FollowTheStar Advent reflections - Week one

 

This week’s Advent #FollowTheStar reflection from Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley
Share this message with your family and friends
It is good to prepare for Christmas, to remember the promises of God, his coming in Jesus, and celebrate by sharing love with family and friends. But there is so much more to look forward to! The prophet Isaiah paints a vivid picture of a time when all nations will be at peace, when there will be no more tears and pain, no weapons or division and justice will prevail.

1 The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2 In days to come
    the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
    and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
3     Many peoples shall come and say,
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
    and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
    and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
    and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
    and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war any more.

5 O house of Jacob,
    come, let us walk
    in the light of the Lord!

A group of Christians has been taking the words of Isaiah literally in recent years. In places where gun and knife crime are maiming and destroying communities, they have been collecting guns and knives, melting them, and turning them into garden tools, inspired by Micah and Isaiah’s vision of God’s people beating their ‘swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks.

Christian waiting and looking forward is never just a passive thing. It is about allowing our hope for the future to change the world in which we live. It is about being open to the challenge of the Spirit, recognising where God is already at work so we can join in. We are not just imagining the future. We have a God who works today in our lives to make this future a reality and calls us to join in with him.

Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley

 
Find out more about #FollowTheStar
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury's #FollowTheStar Advent reflections - Week one

 

This week’s Advent #FollowTheStar reflection from Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley
Share this message with your family and friends
It is good to prepare for Christmas, to remember the promises of God, his coming in Jesus, and celebrate by sharing love with family and friends. But there is so much more to look forward to! The prophet Isaiah paints a vivid picture of a time when all nations will be at peace, when there will be no more tears and pain, no weapons or division and justice will prevail.

1 The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2 In days to come
    the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
    and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
3     Many peoples shall come and say,
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
    and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
    and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
    and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
    and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war any more.

5 O house of Jacob,
    come, let us walk
    in the light of the Lord!

A group of Christians has been taking the words of Isaiah literally in recent years. In places where gun and knife crime are maiming and destroying communities, they have been collecting guns and knives, melting them, and turning them into garden tools, inspired by Micah and Isaiah’s vision of God’s people beating their ‘swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks.

Christian waiting and looking forward is never just a passive thing. It is about allowing our hope for the future to change the world in which we live. It is about being open to the challenge of the Spirit, recognising where God is already at work so we can join in. We are not just imagining the future. We have a God who works today in our lives to make this future a reality and calls us to join in with him.

Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Isabelle Hamley

 
Find out more about #FollowTheStar
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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Sun, 01 Dec 2019 06:30:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/are-you-ready-to-join-our-followthestar-journey-this-christmas https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/are-you-ready-to-join-our-followthestar-journey-this-christmas

Are you ready to join our #FollowTheStar Journey this Christmas?

 

It's only one month until our #FollowTheStar Christmas reflections begin!

Starting on Christmas Day and finishing on Sunday 5 January, our reflections invite you to go on a journey of wonder and discovery, just like the wise men (or Magi) as they followed the star to discover Jesus.
 

We're also very excited to announce that we'll be releasing four special reflections written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby every Sunday in Advent.

 
You'll receive these as emails each Sunday in Advent, but they will also be available on our website so you can share them with family and friends.
 

Why not download our #FollowTheStar app available on Android and iOS and get access to audio versions of the reflections, as well as craft activities designed to help families explore the daily themes.
Download our FREE app on Android or iOS
 
There's still time to order your #FollowTheStar booklets which take you through the twelve daily reflections, starting on Christmas Day.

These are brand new reflections written by Rev Mina Munns and include a welcome from Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu.
Purchase the booklets online
 

Make sure we've got the right information for you so we can stay in touch after Christmas. 

Update your details
 
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Copyright © 2019 The Church of England, All rights reserved.


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]]-->

 

Are you ready to join our #FollowTheStar Journey this Christmas?

 

It's only one month until our #FollowTheStar Christmas reflections begin!

Starting on Christmas Day and finishing on Sunday 5 January, our reflections invite you to go on a journey of wonder and discovery, just like the wise men (or Magi) as they followed the star to discover Jesus.
 

We're also very excited to announce that we'll be releasing four special reflections written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby every Sunday in Advent.

 
You'll receive these as emails each Sunday in Advent, but they will also be available on our website so you can share them with family and friends.
 

Why not download our #FollowTheStar app available on Android and iOS and get access to audio versions of the reflections, as well as craft activities designed to help families explore the daily themes.
Download our FREE app on Android or iOS
 
There's still time to order your #FollowTheStar booklets which take you through the twelve daily reflections, starting on Christmas Day.

These are brand new reflections written by Rev Mina Munns and include a welcome from Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu.
Purchase the booklets online
 

Make sure we've got the right information for you so we can stay in touch after Christmas. 

Update your details
 
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
YouTube
Website
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Copyright © 2019 The Church of England, All rights reserved.


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]]-->

Mon, 25 Nov 2019 17:00:00 +0000

https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/are-you-ready-to-join-our-followthestar-journey-this-christmas-1030419 https://mailchi.mp/churchofengland/are-you-ready-to-join-our-followthestar-journey-this-christmas-1030419

Are you ready to join our #FollowTheStar Journey this Christmas?

 

It's just over two months until our #FollowTheStar reflections begin!


Starting on Christmas Day and finishing on Sunday 5 January, our 12 Days of Christmas Wonder reflections invite you to go on a journey of wonder and discovery, just like the wise men (or Magi) as they followed the star to discover Jesus.

We're also lining up some special content to take you through the season of Advent which we'll be releasing details about soon.  
 
Canterbury Cathedral with a giant star projected onto its side.

How is your church getting involved with #FollowTheStar?

Read our short blog on five things your church can do to prepare this year.
 
A mock up of the #FollowTheStar: 12 Days of Wonder booklet.


Why not purchase the #FollowTheStar: 12 Days of Christmas wonder booklet to use in a group at church or with your friends? 

Order copies from Church House Publishing.
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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Copyright © 2019 The Church of England, All rights reserved.


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]]-->

 

Are you ready to join our #FollowTheStar Journey this Christmas?

 

It's just over two months until our #FollowTheStar reflections begin!


Starting on Christmas Day and finishing on Sunday 5 January, our 12 Days of Christmas Wonder reflections invite you to go on a journey of wonder and discovery, just like the wise men (or Magi) as they followed the star to discover Jesus.

We're also lining up some special content to take you through the season of Advent which we'll be releasing details about soon.  
 
Canterbury Cathedral with a giant star projected onto its side.

How is your church getting involved with #FollowTheStar?

Read our short blog on five things your church can do to prepare this year.
 
A mock up of the #FollowTheStar: 12 Days of Wonder booklet.


Why not purchase the #FollowTheStar: 12 Days of Christmas wonder booklet to use in a group at church or with your friends? 

Order copies from Church House Publishing.
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
YouTube
Website
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Copyright © 2019 The Church of England, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp

]]-->

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 09:00:00 +0000