The holiday season has arrived! Before long we will be decorating for the season, sharing the music of the Messiah, and preparing to for candlelight worship on Christmas Eve. It really is a wonderful time of the year.
There will be traditional meals, gifts to share, and relationships to renew. But we all know that the very best part arrives when we read and hear the birth narrative from the Gospel of Luke. The angel Gabriel arrives at Mary’s side, Joseph doesn’t know quite what to think, the expectant couple travels to Bethlehem, and the angels proclaim the birth of our Lord. I hope you share the account with your family. I know we will experience it together in worship.
The child is born and the earth is filled with the joy of Good News that is for all people! It is the moment when we remember that the gospel become flesh and came to dwell among us all. It is the reason we sing Joy to the World!
I remember a Christmas Eve worship service from years ago when we gathered in an old barn with bales of hay, young calves, a handful of goats, and some clucking hens. The kids gathered around the manger as the Gospel was read. They were not dressed for the part but they all stood in the place of the shepherds who were amazed by what they heard. It was beautiful!
I hope you will be present for every feature of the Advent / Christmas season as we worship, celebrate, and share fellowship together as the Body of Christ. It will truly be a season of joy and hope as Christmas opens the door to a New Year of opportunity and growth.
Sue and I will be experiencing Christmas in our new home but we will be sharing some long standing family traditions. Ana will decorate the tree, our family will arrive for a meal, and we will celebrate Christmas Eve worship together. What a wonderful blessing it is to sing Silent Night, raise our candles, and know that the goodness of God is shining into the world. I hope Christmas Eve worship is a part of your journey as well.
It will be wonderful to see you all as we share the season together. Please don’t forget your sisters and brothers who are separated from their families. And I know you will remember those who will struggle to find food, shelter, and basic warmth. How about cutting back on the giving of gifts to family so we can all give more to meet a much more important need?
I am looking forward to seeing you in worship!