For my sister, who cannot eat Christmas Pudding, I made a Summer Fruits Pudding, using a recipe by Jane Grigson, from her book English Food, a volume I shall be exploring more fully this year. I was somewhat nervous about it, never having made it before but it was well received and came out of its basin smoothly. Indeed I have a feeling I will be making this for my sister again, which is no problem as it is little bother to put together and is the same shape as Christmas pudding - my dad even stuck a spring of holly in it.
Although I have had less time than I would have liked for reflection I did find two points very comforting, the first being that the King is coming and that He will come again, simple but true. The second being most comforted by parts of Isaiah 9, in particular verse seven:
Of the increase of his government and peaceGod's kingdom is coming here on earth and it is growing and will increase without end. Amidst all the war, violence and trouble of this world this is a valuable promise.
there will be no end.
In fact it seems I cannot count - I said two points - there were other, related verses that have helped and encouraged me this Christmas. While I was reading the Nativity stories in Matthew and Luke I also looked up some of the Old Testament passages that were quoted, to read them in their context and find out more about them and why they were quoted. Micah 5.7-8 encouraged and comforted me so much:
He will stand and shepherd his flockLastly I've been loving this version of Come Thou Long Expected Jesus by Kings Kaleidoscope - do have a listen, or just read the words.
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
And he will be their peace.