Thought of the Week - 29th November 2023

Isaiah 7:14

Hello everyone. We hope you’ve had a good week.


This Sunday sees the beginning of the church season of Advent, which means ‘coming’. Although Advent for many has become a countdown to Christmas, the main focus within the Church is the promised return of Christ to bring God’s Kingdom of eternal peace.

During these 4 weeks of Advent, as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’s birth 2,000 years ago, we look forward in hope to Jesus Christ’s return, when evil will be permanently defeated and all Creation will be healed of all of our sinfulness and brokenness. It is a time when we examine our hearts and lives and consider whether we are living in readiness for Christ’s return.

Advent is a time to refocus our lives on Christ, and helps us to reflect on the awesomeness of God’s goodness to us – past, present and future.

 May God bless you and your loved ones this coming week.

With our love and prayers from the Parish Ministry Team

Good News for this Week



O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Adonai, Lord of might,

Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,

In ancient times didst give the Law

in cloud and majesty and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, 

free thine own from Satan's tyranny.

From sin and death Thy people save,

And give them victory o'er the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high

And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

And death's dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come

And open wide our heav'nly home;

Make safe the way that leads on high,

And close the path to misery.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.


This haunting carol has its origins over 1,200 years ago in monastic life in the 8th or 9th century. This English version dates from 1851. Each verse is a statement from the Old Testament about God’s prophesied Messiah – Jesus Christ – and our need for him.

Emmanuel (or Immanuel), which means ‘God with us’ – is the name given to the promised Messiah in the prophecy of Isaiah (7.14) and confirmed in Matthew’s Gospel (1.23) as relating to Jesus.

Adonai is the Hebrew word for ‘Lord’. It was on Mount Sinai that God gave Moses the 10 Commandments, having rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The Jews considered the personal name of God (YHWH, Yahweh, Jehovah) to be so holy that they replaced it with ‘Adonai’ when reading Scripture aloud.

‘Rod of Jesse’ comes from Isaiah 11:1; ‘A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit.’  Jesse was the father of David, Israel’s greatest King, so the Messiah would come from the family tree of Jesse (as Jesus did), even though it might appear to be a dead stump.

‘Dayspring’ is an old word for dawn, thus the Messiah would be the dawn from heaven of a new age on earth. John’s Gospel particularly describes Jesus as the Light from heaven, the Light of the World. (John 1:4, 8:12)

‘Key of David’ is another prophecy from Isaiah (22:22), that the Messiah will have all authority from God over everything.


This evocative carol speaks to our need today. Creation is not as it should be. Everywhere is war, poverty, global warming, corruption, addiction, injustice, pollution, greed, sickness, species extinction, abuse, civil unrest – the majority of people in rebellion against God. It’s hard not to feel a sense of gloom. Each verse highlights the world’s need but ends with the encouragement that Jesus Christ is the solution to the world’s every need. Rejoice!

Through Christ, God has made Himself present to us. By His Spirit, He IS present with us. His faithfulness is greater than our failure, his promise greater than our doubts, and His presence with us is a guarantee of our eternal security, and our best reason to rejoice!

Prayers for The Holy Land

All of us will have been deeply moved by the atrocities and the unfolding tragedy in Israel and Gaza. Jeremiah will speak for many of us as we reflect on the suffering on all sides of the conflict:

“O that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears so that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people”.

You may find some prayers here helpful

Bible Readings: Sunday 26th November 2023


  • God's peace and justice in Ukraine
  • God's peace and justice in Israel and Gaza
  • those who are sick in body, mind or spirit
  • the bereaved, thinking particularly of the loved ones of John Fryer and Douglas Todd
  • the residents and staff of the Mount Care Home
  • the children and staff of our parish schools
  • all of the preparations for Christmas, that Christ will be known and glorified through them

Our Next Services

 3rd December 10th December 17th December 
  First Sunday of Advent Second Sunday of Advent Third Sunday of advent
St Mary's  8am Holy Communion 

9.45am All Age Family Worship
 8am Holy Communion 

9.45am Holy Communion
 8am Holy Communion 

9.45am Moring Worship
St Peter's  10.30am Holy Communion  10.30am Village Praise
St Paul's  9.15am Holy Communion