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Here is our latest Pod cast. Listen and share.
Many Blessings to you,
Christmas comes but once a year.
For the most part, many of us are glad that the above statement rings true. I, for one, however, am the sort that could have Christmas come several times in a year, or maybe even be in a perpetual Christmas season. If we walk into many retail stores, especially the larger chain stores, it seems that Christmas goes on forever, and then we know that the sales right after Christmas give us bargains that likes of which we will not see again for several months, and maybe not until Black Friday and Cyber Monday rear their heads again next year. And we know that we can start stocking up on decorations for next Christmas even before we unwrap our packages just a few days from now.
I say that I can live with Christmas coming around a lot, because I love the sense of expectation that comes with hope and peace and joy and love that we celebrate the four Sundays of Advent, as we await the birth of the Christ child. I love it that the tone of life seems to change as we approach the Nativity of our Lord—O, that it could be this way for an infinite period. It can be, but we have to set our hearts to make it so.
The Hanging of the Greens, a tradition in our church which takes place on the first Sunday of Advent, left our sanctuary adorned in greenery and poinsettias, and our Chrismon tree is laden with the symbols of our Lord Jesus Christ. I appreciate all of those who gave of their Saturday morning over the Thanksgiving holidays to come ready our church for that event which is to come. The new church year is upon us, Year A, the Matthew year, and I hope we are ready and excited for the new year to bring great things in the life of our church.
I hope you are in town Christmas Eve. We will have a wonderful celebration of Lessons, Carols, Communion, and Candlelight as we celebrate the Nativity of our Lord in a worship event based on the traditional service of Lessons and Carols. It is a great time for families to get together, and to let the church folk see and visit with those who might be in for the holidays. I can’t think of a better way to spend one’s Christmas Eve. It is also a great chance to invite friends and families in a setting that is non -pushy, and will be marked by familiar scripture readings and traditional carols. There will be a light reception following the service to visit with friends and renew old acquaintances.
We will have church on Christmas Day, which falls on a Sunday this year. Our service will be the only event of the day, at the regular time, as there will be no Sunday School nor elder’s prayer time.
On December 1, my ministry marks the six-month period here at First Christian Church. I hope and I trust that I am doing the tasks God has called me to do, and I hope that I am providing the pastoral leadership that you have entrusted to me. We have come a long way, yet we still have a long way to go. In my coaching days, I learned never to take things for granted, and never sit back on one’s laurels—we can’t ever be satisfied totally. Let’s keep looking for other opportunities for ministry, both in our church and in our community. I thank God every day that God has led me to this place, to this little outpost in the Kingdom of God, to you.
Sarah and I wish a blessed and holy Advent to you and your family, and the merriest of Christmases as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Christ child.
Blessings and peace,