We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Friday, 14 December 2012

A Christmas Recipe for Advent

I love this season of Advent! I love the theme running through these weeks up to Christmas of light coming into darkness. Hope coming. Emmanuel: God With Us.

Today we did our last assembly at Aldermaston Primary School (which I suddenly found quite sad!). They have been presenting their Christmas Nativity this week: The Christmas Recipe. What are the ingredients for a good Christmas? Father Christmas, robins, snow, presents, angels and shepherds ... the list can go on. But really, what is the Vital Ingredient? And that is JESUS! We picked up on this in the assembly this morning. We know that in Tanzania, the recipe for Christmas is very different, definitely no snow or robins and for those in Magozi village, no presents. But the vital ingredient is there and that is the reason that people of all ages and nationalities all over the world celebrate Christmas!

So today we remembered with the Aldermaston pupils here in the UK, that Jesus is the Light of the WHOLE world. He came as light and hope for a world in darkness. We talked about Baby Lightness born to our friends, Ezekiel and Bora last Christmas. That little baby was wrapped in khangas and lay in the darkness without a fancy crib or baby toys, just like another baby we know born so many years ago. And we see that with all other "ingredients" gone, the vital ingredient truly is Jesus! And so to remember this, we lit Christingle candles this morning just as we did in Tanzania the past two years, using potatoes instead of oranges!
Lighting the Christngle candles for the Assembly

Louisa narrating for the Christmas Recipe Nativity
We do still see darkness around us, in sadness, despair, wickedness, war, hopelessness and pain in different places all over the world, but the Light has come to bring hope to all and what an exciting privilege we have to carry that light! Wherever we are in the world!

We are coming to the end of our time in the UK now. And realise it will be hard to leave! I went shopping to stock up on all those things like shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant etc as well as a funny list of things we miss (like marmite, certain spices and mixes, dried fruit and of course the oats!). And suddenly in the Christmassy aisles of inviting food, there I was all emotional about Sainsbury's! You have to chuckle at the things that suddenly hit and make one all emotional (well me anyway, Tim wasn't too bothered!). But at the same time we are looking forward to getting back to Tanzania, very much looking forward to seeing friends there again, and very excited to be starting up the stoves project in our new village.

Light of the World from Rachel Monger on Vimeo.

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