Message from the Pastor

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go
Take a look in the Five and Ten
Glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow ♫♬♩

Wait just a minute… Aren’t we getting just a bit ahead of ourselves here?  We just finished off the leftovers from Thanksgiving.  Certainly it’s not time to immediately jump right into the middle of our Christmas celebration!  In fact, it’s really not quite the time to settle into the Christmas spirit, though it is the time to prepare.  That is what the season of Advent is all about.

During the coming weeks, we will continue in preparing for our Christmas celebration.  The sanctuary is already undergoing changes to reflect the upcoming event.  There will be Christmas parties, shopping, opportunities to give and receive gifts, as well as lots and lots of goodies to consume.  Much of this will take place prior to our official Christmas Day celebration, simply because we have so much to celebrate that we cannot possibly do in all in one day.  That’s great!  Even so, spending just a bit of the time in holy reflection, with a sense of anticipation will make the season even better.

Our worship during the coming weeks will include the lighting of the Advent Candles each week.  They will help shape our worship, calling upon us to give special attention to all that Jesus’ birth represents to the world, if only we will receive these gifts.  The gifts of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace.  Prior to Jesus’s birth, the people of God longed for these gifts.  The rest of the world needs these gifts.  As Christians, we know that these gifts, found in Jesus, make us who we are.  By reflecting upon each one of these during this Advent season, perhaps we can find the words and actions to share with our families, friends, co-workers and neighbors that will help them find new and greater meaning, not just for Christmas, but for life.

This coming Sunday we will celebrate The Lord’s Supper, as is our custom on the first Sunday of each month.  May it help us remember the source of our Hope; God is constantly with us; Emmanuel.  The Second Sunday we celebrate Love; God’s perfect love found in Christ, received through Christ, and lived out by the power of His Holy Spirit; Love incarnate.  The third Sunday we celebrate Joy.  We will do this with music and song.  The choir is preparing; the praise team is preparing; our Discovery Club children are preparing and will join us in singing our Joys to our Lord.  The fourth Sunday is Christmas Eve.  We will have two celebrations.  Our morning worship will focus on Jesus, The Prince of Peace.  Our evening Candlelight Service will focus on Jesus, The Light of the World. We will also share in The Lord’s Supper together with our families and neighbor during the Candlelight Service.

Hope. Love. Joy. Peace. Light.  Jesus is all of this and more.  Prepare your hearts and minds to receive these gifts during the coming weeks and you will find that your Christmas celebration will be the best ever!  Blessings for the Season,  Pastor Joe