Christmas used to begin with the film of the Coca Cola Truck arriving on TV. This year Christmas begins with the delivery of the vaccines that just might change everything.
But like many things it all began in relative obscurity.
This was in the Sydney Morning Herald a few days ago,
Until a few months ago scientists Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci lived a relatively obscure life in the German city of Mainz. Despite being worth billions, the so-called “husband and wife dream team” were known locally for their modesty: they share an unpretentious apartment with their teenage daughter and would only ever arrive at work on pushbikes.
Born in Turkey, Sahin emigrated to Germany in the late 1960s aged just four. His parents worked at a Ford factory in Cologne and watched their son grow up to study medicine at the University of Cologne and take up a residency at Saarland University in the small town of Homburg. It was at university that Sahin met Türeci, an equally brilliant medical student who was also the child of a Turkish immigrant.
I hadn’t heard of them either. But we may have much to be grateful for. Apparently,
They were having breakfast in late January when the pair started talking about an article in The Lancet medical journal examining a mysterious illness circulating in China. After some further research the pair realised the disease had the potential to morph into a global pandemic and set up Project Lightspeed inside BioNTech.https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/the-billionaire-husband-and-wife-dream-team-who-created-the-covid-19-vaccine-20201203-p56k2w.html
And so thousands of people began work.
A couple, unknown to nearly everyone else, saw something happening and gave themselves to addressing the problem. Remind you of anything else?
What about an old couple who lived with the pain of childlessness who remarkably found they could have a child despite their old age; or a young couple who found they were having a little boy despite it being impossible.
A vaccine will help the world navigate a really difficult moment. I’ll line up to have it, not believing the rumours that spread fear among people. As Paul Simon sang, ‘These are the days of miracle and wonder’.
I will have the vaccine that will help the world. But we need more than help, we need a saviour, we need to give our loyalty to a new king, we need a whole way out of the fractures and pain we see all around us. We need Jesus.
If a couple of unknown people having breakfast in Mainz can see a call to work differently in a way that will bless the world, why would I be slow to believe the story of unknown couples in Israel all those years ago who see that everything will change with the birth of sons. One to point to the other. One to be a prophet, one to be a king.
This is how salvation begins.
Sometimes it’s tempting to wonder whether kindness offered is noticed, or whether an invitation is worth delivering. But then you meet someone like Pat Rush, who tells you their story of how they came to be connected to our church at a time when she desperately needed the kindness of others. Enjoy watching her story and be encouraged!
1. Sunday Gathering
The link to this Sunday’s Gathering is here:
Meeting ID: 836 810 848
From 10am – join us to pray for the service. Hannah leads a short time together.
If you want to learn how to help us with the technical side of things, can you let us know. We need more people to be involved!
Or you can join us live on YouTube.
2. Coffee Morning – Wednesday 10.30-11.30am
A Wednesday morning is the ideal time to catch up with people, have a brew, even involve yourself with a quiz. So, whilst it’s not as good as being together in person, there’s an opportunity to do it all online.
3. On Thursday at 7.45-9.00 Home Groups
We send the link out to those in groups. If you want to join – contact Neil and he can include you in.
4. WhatsApp Prayer Meeting
On Friday 10.30-12.00 there’s a prayer meeting using WhatsApp. Contact Corinne Baines or Gill Oldham or Neil and they’ll make sure you are able to connect.
Looking Ahead to Christmas
1. All Age Christmas Together, Sunday 13th December, 12.30-1.15
A time for all the family to engage together – story, songs, game, prayers – at home but connected across the church via Zoom (only). Families will receive the link via email, but if for any reason that hasn’t happened for you, contact Morag.
2. Christmas Alive Window Trail – 14th-27th of December
This year, we’re bringing our Christmas Alive story to the streets of Salford.
There will be 6 windows across our local area showing different scenes from the Christmas story, with short audio to play when you find the window (you will be able to scan the QR code in the window with your mobile phone to listen)
The window scenes will be visible for two weeks so there’s plenty of time for you to get out and explore the Christmas Story.
Help needed! Could you deliver some leaflets containing the map to follow around the Height area from week beginning the 7th of December? If so, please let Ian know asap.
We are planning a Christmas Carol Service on Sunday 20 December at 4.30-5.30. This will be held at St James, Hope, (The church at the crossroads of Lancaster Road and Eccles New Road, M6 8EJ.) Holding it there means we can do a socially distanced service that will accommodate us all. Everyone will be able to stay safe by being distanced from one another, but able to be part of a service that will be full of joy. There is enough room for you and anyone that you would like to invite to come along – even if you can’t sit next to them.
You should have received an email so that you can book in. You must book in – you can’t just turn up. If you haven’t received an email, let us know.
This service will be shown on our YouTube channel on Monday 21st. If you plan to watch it there, let Neil know and he will get a bag of goodies to you which you need for the service!
There will be an online Christmas Day Service from 10.30 to 11.15. This will just be on Zoom, not on YouTube as well.
And there will be NO service on Sunday 27th December.
If in doubt
All the links to the meetings are in Church Suite and on the ‘Calendar’ section of our church website: https://www.salfordelimchurch.org/events/
You’re not alone
If you need help and don’t know where to turn, you are always welcome to contact Neil on 07771 558058.