The Christmas Tree!

Last year, 2020, no Christmas tree adorned our lovely Church due to COVID and services being suspended. It is with great delight we were able to have our Christmas Tree reinstated for the Christmas Season in 2021. Thanks go to our gang of Elves who faithfully decorate the church, including the tree, each year.

On this the 1st Sunday after Christmas we thought we’d share some pictures of this years tree and some anecdotal information about some items we might see on a Christmas Tree.

Martin Luther also started the tradition for decorating trees after he put candles on the tree he took, to make it look like stars were shining through. In 1895, Ralph Morris developed electric lights as easier (and safer!) alternative.

The Christmas Bauble

Christmas baubles first originated in Germany after ‘trees of paradise’ were decorated with red apples for the miracle plays which took place outside the church on Christmas Eve. These soon became the baubles we know and use today.

The Tree Topper

Originally, the infant Jesus adorned the top of Christmas trees. However, this trend later evolved to a star or an angel, which are both significant Christian symbols in the Nativity of Jesus.

The Star of Bethlehem

The Star of Bethlehem, also referred to as the ‘Christmas Star,’ guided the wise men, or Magi, to the birthplace of Jesus in the Christian story of Jesus of Nazareth’s birth.

The Star of Bethlehem, a five-pointed star, is unique in that it is only referenced in the Gospel of Matthew’s nativity story. The star signifies the birth of Christ (or Messiah).

Astrology also factored heavily into the Bible. Stars, moons, comets and galaxies were considered heavenly bodies interpreted as signs from God.



Christmas Reflection 4

With grateful thanks to a former organist of “The Mac” Church here in Bellshill, David Fisher, who is now organist at Orchardhill Church in Giffnock.

David and his choir recorded and prepared this Christmas Recessional during lockdown 2020 and due to David’s organ concert being cancelled it was more than appropriate to include David and his choir in our Christmas reflections.

Today we have chosen to highlight “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”.  It features an exhilarating melody written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, and adapted by William Cummings, to lyrics originally penned by Charles Wesley, based on the Luke 2 account of the Birth of Jesus, and altered by his student, George Whitfield.

It is a privilege over the years to use wonderful arrangements of this Christmas Carol, by Sir David Willcocks and others, in Worship, and in concert; and have enjoyed listening to many recordings of it.“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” is a celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus as Immanuel (“God With Us”) and presents many of the well-known names and descriptions of the Christ Child:  Newborn King, Christ, Prince of Peace, Sun of Righteousness, Everlasting Lord, Incarnate Deity, Emmanuel; as well as His role in God’s Plan of Salvation: Bringer of Peace, Mercy, Reconciliation, Joy, Light, Healing and Life.

let us pray

Glory to You, O Lord, God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!  Glory to You, O Christ, our Newborn King!By the Light and Life You bring, reconciling sinners, be pleased to fix in us Your Humble Home, so that we too may join the triumph of the skies, where in Highest Heaven You are adored by saints and angels singing Your Praises, this day, on Christmas, and forever.  Amen.

Christmas Reflection 3

From Matt Redman’s Christmas release, “These Christmas Lights”, comes the song “His Name Shall Be.” This song is a great choice to bring a spirit of worship to your home worship this Christmas season.

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Immanuel: God with us

Immanuel means “God with us.” Like Isaiah 9:6, this verse is believed to be a prophecy about Jesus. In fact, the Gospel of Matthew quotes this passage in 1:23 as it recounts the story of Jesus’ birth.

This prophecy is an encouragement that God is indeed on Judah’s side, and an assurance that by the time this child is grown, Assyria and Syria will be defeated.

Christmas Reflection 2

Watch Boney M. – Mary’s Boy Child
A firm favourite of many that reminds us A king was born today, and that we’ll live forever more because of Christmas day.

Mary’s Boy Child” is a 1956 Christmas song, written by Jester Hairston. It is widely performed as a Christmas carol. The tune used in “Hark now hear the angels sing, a new king born today” comes from the folk song Bingo.