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Glen Scrivener Durham Carols

Adoring Christ at Christmas

Over the last few weeks, CUs across the country have been making the most of the festive season by hosting carol services for their university. Glen Scrivener, minister and evangelist, recently spoke at Durham CU's carol service in Durham Cathedral. Here he shares his perspective on the privilege it is to be able to point to Christ at Christmas. 

In what other context can you gather 3,000 students to hear the gospel? And where else will they sit through multiple Bible readings from Old and New Testament? And how often are they going to sing about ‘adoring’ Christ the Lord – and happily so?

A cathedral carol service is perhaps the most incredible gospel opportunity open to us in the UK church. It was a privilege to be able to preach Jesus to those gathered at Durham Cathedral. The Christian Union at Durham had done a fantastic job in putting on the service, partnering with the cathedral and inviting friends and course mates by the thousands. Some had to stand at the back, some had to sit cross-legged at the foot of the pulpit, all were eager to sing of Immanuel. 

What an honour then to open up John 1, especially since every guest had received a free copy of John’s Gospel for themselves from the CU. As with all preaching, the job is simply to point to the Christ of Scripture and say ‘Look!’.

For 20 minutes we looked. For 20 minutes the Holy Spirit shone Christ into 3,000 hearts and at the end of my sermon I borrowed the Queen’s excellent evangelistic tactic: I led those gathered in the final verse of O Little Child of Bethlehem.

O holy Child of Bethlehem

Descend to me I pray

Cast out my sin and enter in

Be born in me today …

O come to me, abide in me

My Lord Immanuel.

And so we pray that Immanuel did indeed come to dwell with many that night. And we pray for thousands more to hear and respond this Christmas.

Over 3,000 students attended Durham CU’s carol service, hundreds of whom took away a copy of John’s Gospel. Many students also left their contact details; please join us in praying for CUs as they seek to continue the conversation over the holidays and going into the next term. 

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