We had our annual carol service at our church in Newbury last Sunday, featuring some shadow puppets, a choir performance, and plenty of carols! The theme was ‘Looking for Jesus’, reflecting on the journeys of the shepherds, the wise men, and the prophets in the temple to find Jesus.
The shepherds weren’t really looking for anything when the angel appeared to them, but they responded to his message and went looking for Jesus, finding him shortly after. The wise men most definitely were looking for something – and when they saw the star that they were looking for to lead them to the Messiah, they shouted for joy (Matt 2:10, NET version). And the prophets in the temple had been waiting their whole lives to see the Messiah. When they finally found what they were looking for, the sense of relief is palpable in Simeon’s joyful pronouncement:
"Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel." (Luke 2:29-32)
The shadow puppets were an engaging way to send the message about looking for Jesus (see pic below). And the kids loved them!
The choir sang 'Oh Holy Night'. The performance wasn't recorded, but was easily as good as this one by the Dublin Gospel Choir (well, maybe not quite as polished...!)
Here’s to a joyful Christmas, and a chance to reflect on our lives looking for or living in Jesus.