This is a copy of my article for the DECEMBER 2013 edition of the Billericay ‘Around Town Magazine’

X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!  Autumn TV is full of programmes for wannabee celebrities. Who is your favourite to win: Sam Bailey, Susannah Reid or Joey Essex? For the thousands who long to see their name in lights, there’s only ever one star that makes it. And, when the stardom fades, and everyone’s moved on to the ‘next big thing’, what then?  Anonymity beckons for most people doesn’t it?

Jesus was never a ‘one-hit’ wonder who faded anonymously into history. There were no paparazzi at his birth or headlines to announce his arrival into our world, but the Angels and a few Shepherds and a few others knew a star was born that day.  The story of Jesus’ birth in Matthew 2:10 tells us: “When the Wise Men saw the star, they were overjoyed.” I wonder if you can (still) remember the chorus of that famous Christmas Carol ‘We Three Kings?’ O star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to Thy perfect light.”

And this perfect light of Jesus has shone throughout history and continues to shine in the 21st Century.  A star whose light, despite all that is happening in the world around us, continues to bring healing and wholeness into people’s lives.

It is because of this, that Christmas is worth celebrating and it can be life changing for each of you – young and old alike – so it’s worth making the effort to put something in your diary!  May I invite you to celebrate with us at Emmanuel (or any church in Billericay) and re-discover how Jesus can light up your life this Christmas?  There is something to suit every age group and every taste – details can be found on our website.

May God’s richest blessing be upon you and your family this Christmas time.  And I pray that the Joy of the Angels, the Eagerness of the Shepherds, the Perseverance of the Wise Men, the Obedience of Joseph and Mary and the Peace of Jesus will fill your hearts and lives this festive season and in the year to come.