It's been non stop Christmas for us in Pill Corps this week as it is I imagine in the majority of Army corps in December.
This week it has been brought home to me just how universal the gospel is. The ministry of our corps has touched the whole spectrum of society in four days. On Monday a group of us went to a day centre for people with learning difficulties. Carols were sung, the timbrels played and the puppets entertained with a delightful version of "We three kings". It was loud and chaotic for the most part, yet when the Christmas story was told and a prayer was being spoken a quietness descended which was very special.
On Tuesday Lucy and I visited a womens hostel, where we led a carol service attended by some asylum seekers, drug addicts, alcoholics and prostitutes. It wasn't the best singing in the world but we had fun and they showed us so much respect as the message of Jesus was shared. Afterwards we stayed around and got to know some of the women a bit. We enjoyed their company and felt immensely privileged when they shared with us some of their pain. We're going back regularly in the New Year.
On Wednesday it was the Parent and Toddlers party. We had 55 children + adults in our not very large hall. It felt like wall to wall children. We had a great time even if it was completely crazy. The older children went home with a book of the Christmas story and we hope there will be a good attendance at our Toddlers Carol Service on Monday. What an amazing opportunity it is to serve our community in this way and share Jesus at the same time. Later in the afternoon the older ladies of the Home League met and listened to the same story and were equally touched by its special wonder.
And if that were not a busy enough day we rounded it all off with our Portishead Carol Service in the URC, where Christians from every denomination in the town gathered to celebrate the story that unites us all.
This evening we have been rehearsing the nativity with the Jam Club children. "It will be alright on the night" is our motto at the moment! We sorted out a dispute among the shepherds and invented a part for someone who didn't want to be a shepherd or a wise man or an angel. He's now the star! We then went to play in a store that our ladies from the hostel could not afford to shop in. Well dressed shoppers stood by their trolleys laden with luxury goods, holding their free glass of wine as they listened to our band play the carols, which tell the story that every man and woman needs to hear.
Tomorrow......I think tomorrow is Friday......And it all starts again telling out this wonderful story.