Tell me the story… Advent 2023

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Advent 2023 begins on Sunday 4th December. Advent (‘coming’) – the run up to December 25th and for Christians in particular, a focus on the birth of Christ.

I wonder what your reaction is to that sentence above? Indifference? Matter of fact? Anticipation?

Perhaps with mention of angels, a dramatic birth, a star, wise men from the East – it seems a bit fairy tale like?

Maybe you know the Advent story from the Gospels well and it can be easy for it to seem like there is nothing new to learn?

Or perhaps in seeing what is happening in Israel-Gaza right now, the story of a child born in Bethlehem back in the 1st Century seems somewhat removed and disconnected from the realities of 2023?

Of course as I type this, I have no way of knowing what anyone reading this thinks. Yet whether you count yourself as a Jesus follower or you are open to exploring about Christian faith, can I encourage us all to be curious this Advent?

Throughout December in the ICL services under the title ‘Tell me the story…’ we will look afresh at different parts of what happened with Advent. Further below are some more details of the theme each week. Join us in person or if that does not work for you, online at:

One of the phrases often heard during Advent is of Jesus as ‘Immanuel – God with us’. Christians hold that this was not just true back in Roman occupied Judea but still true today – in these days, amidst the various challenges that we face in this world.

As we go into Advent, are we open to Christ, His life and teaching and His call to follow Him?


Tell me the story… themes:

December 3rd: Mary and the way she responds to unexpected news: Luke 1:26-38. How about us, how will we respond to this part of the story? Is there relevance for our lives now?

December 10th: As cousins meet up, there is more than kicking going on inside one of them. What of Mary’s song of hope, liberation and justice? A boy is born who one day will be a prophet preparing the way for Christ: Luke 1:39-66. Again, is there anything in this for us now?

December 17th: All in Christmas service with ICL children and youth taking part as we continue the story: Christ is born, an angel choir that just has to celebrate and those on the edge of society are invited as witnesses: Luke 2:1-20. Service followed by drinks and cake. Come join the celebration!

December 24th: Christmas Eve service (note, no service in the morning this day): Time has gone on but mystery guests show up bringing gifts. All just before Jesus and his family become refugees as they escape a terrible attack: Matthew 2:1-12

December 31st: Theme to be confirmed.