24 December 2019

Hi, it’s Mick here and welcome to Tuesday’s Podcast at STC. Not just any Tuesday but Christmas Eve Tuesday – it’s time to get excited! This is the final Podcast before the holiday but we begin our 2020 Podcasts on Monday 6th January.

Did you know that this year we have heard nearly 250 Podcasts from STC Sheffield; so a big thank you to our staff team for all their hard work in producing these Podcasts to enable us to connect with God every weekday through Bible reflections, prayers and worship songs. You are an amazing team – thank you!


So, a thought for Christmas Eve 2019. We are still in the season of Advent – yes we are! – from a Latin word which means ‘coming’. Advent is an annual reminder of the three ‘comings’ of Jesus; first, the coming of Jesus Christ as a baby, second, the coming of Jesus personally into our lives and finally his coming again as King. It’s a season of expectation & preparation but most of all it’s a time to WAIT.

John1:14 (MSG)

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift.

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood.

Jesus identified with us – he knows our human condition. He’s lived it. He knew joy and sadness; weariness and excitement; being alone and knowing friendship. Jesus lived in our world; he was flesh and blood, yet fully God. As a child once said in a school Christmas assembly ‘Jesus is God with skin on’. What an amazing theological statement!

When Jesus speaks, God speaks. When Jesus appears, God appears. Jesus is not just  a ‘good’ person, or a great teacher, or a moral philosopher. Here is an amazing, controversial truth – Jesus is God! Jesus came to redeem the world – to put us right with God.

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood!

I have reflected many times this year as I have watched the news, on a world in need of a saviour, a church in need of its Lord and particularly a young generation in need of hope – that final challenge is with me most days as Tricia and I pray for our children and grandchildren and all our young people at STC. There have been times this year I have so longed for Jesus to just appear and ‘sort things’! … often he has, but many times I have had to learn again to WAIT. Advent is about waiting. Waiting is often hard, but waiting is often necessary and waiting works!

Years ago we had a dream at STC that every teenager in a secondary school in South Yorkshire would have the opportunity to hear about Jesus – how he knows and loves them; how he has a plan and a purpose for their lives. The schools ministry of ‘Shine’ was born out of this vision and an amazing work they have done. Multiply the Shine ministry by a factor of ten+ and that’s the Higher Tour which took place earlier this year.

Partnering with our friends from The Message Manchester, we saw over 16,000 teenagers in our region  impacted by the gospel – it was indeed the greatest Christian schools mission in a generation in this area! All this has happened through vision, hard work and sacrifice but also by being willing to WAIT. Doors have opened at the right time in this vital work because we have learned to WAIT on the Lord in prayer. Doors are still opening enabling our STC Youth Team to continue this work. Advent helps me understand again this spiritual discipline of waiting.

The Word became flesh and blood and moved into MY neighbourhood!

As I wait, I am asking Jesus to prepare me. To encounter him afresh as a husband, a father, a grandfather, a church leader, a colleague, a friend but mostly,  as an often weary disciple trying to do his best, pressing on to follow the call of God and waiting to receive the Lord’s empowering presence every day. I am asking Jesus to move in to my life    What about you?

The Word became flesh and blood and moved into MY neighbourhood!

Jesus knows that life is often a battle and we do sometimes get weary. With Jesus, we don’t need to be perfect, or always wonderfully organised, or ‘have it all sorted’ – we just need to be available and open the door of our lives and ask him to come in. You see, he’s already in the neighbourhood, waiting for our invitation to come in.

Jesus is ready to move in; he doesn’t come for a short stay Christmas visit – gone when the wise men have left and tree is taken down! He has come to stay for life.

On this special day, this Christmas Eve we remember again that Jesus is coming and we WAIT with expectation for all that tomorrow, Christmas Day 2019 will bring – and even more, there’s a brand new year 2020 just around the corner, it’s fresh of the shelf of heaven, full of blessing and opportunity, just waiting for you and me. Hallelujah!


O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born in us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

Happy Christmas everyone!


The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighbourhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish.