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Weekly letter from St Luke's - 18 December 2020

Dear Parish Friends

As I write this letter, I reflect on the fact that on one week’s time all the Christmas services will be over, the turkey will be in the oven and June and myself will be trying not to fall asleep in front of the Christmas Tree. Then the following day, the shops will begin to be stripped of the Christmas decorations, and Easter Eggs will start to appear! It seems that after all the anticipation, Christmas will be over before you notice.

But that is not how it should be. I encourage you to linger. The feast of Christmas lasts 12 days from 25th December until 5th January, the eve of the feast of the Epiphany (known as twelfth night). Throughout the whole of this season we celebrate the mystery of the incarnation:

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of

a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Recall the message of the angels that we will hear on Christmas Day, the message of “good news of great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10), and reflect that this is for all of the world today, at the end of 2020.

It is interesting to note that these ‘twelve days of Christmas’ arose serendipitously. Because of a difference in the calendars employed in the Roman empire, the Julian calendar in the West and lunar calendars in the East, the incarnation was celebrated some 11 or 12 days apart in the empire. The Western church, in a desire to be universal, at the Council of Tours in 567AD, declared both of these (and all the days in between) to be holy days, the first becoming Christmas Day and the second Epiphany.

But meanwhile, we still have the fourth Sunday of Advent. Services this weekend are:

  • · Saturday 6pm: Prayer, praise and proclamation on Zoom (service sheet attached)

  • · Sunday 7am: Holy Communion at St Luke’s

  • · Sunday 9am: Family service with Communion (also streamed on Zoom, service sheet attached).

  • · Sunday 6pm. Carol service (also streamed on Zoom, join us at 5pm for a community barbeque).

At the Sunday 9am service we will also be welcoming Robyn Maxwell, who is the new chaplain at Weller’s Hill State School.

Because of the limits to the number of people that we can have in the church at this time, you are advised to pre-register your attendance at the carol service, and also at the family services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day:

Yours in Christ

Rev’d Timothy


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