Message from the Pastor
8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” (Luke 2:8-15, NRSV)
While the appearance of angels and their heavenly singing announced to the shepherds near the town of Bethlehem the news of Jesus’ birth, we too are beginning to hear messages that Christmas is nearing once again. While it is still some weeks off, we begin to anticipate the celebration and each year, that anticipation starts earlier and earlier.
What once was the day called “Black Friday”, the Friday following Thanksgiving where stores put many of their best Christmas gifts on sale to start the buying frenzy for the holiday, now has turned into “Black Friday Month” to encourage Christmas shopping even before we celebrate Thanksgiving. If we’re not careful, our Christmas spirit can come and go so that when the actual day arrives, we’re simply going through the motions and secretly will be glad to get everything put away and our houses back in order. So sad!
One way for us to keep the main thing, the main thing is to concentrate on celebrating the season of Advent. Advent is a four-week season that focuses our attention on the two elements of remembrance and anticipation. We remember the promises of God. We remember the fulfillment of the promise in Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection. We rejoice in the Kingdom that God has initiated and then we look forward. We look forward to the coming of Jesus in Glory to complete the Kingdom and anticipate living in the fullness of that Eternal Kingdom. In other words, as the people of God 2000 years ago awaited the arrival of their King, we too should lean in and look for the arrival of God’s Eternal Kingdom and celebrate Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
Blessings and Peace, Pastor Joe