Christmas is quickly approaching and I suspect you are busy working to meet all the demands of the season. The retail outlets and online stores would have us belief that Christmas is spending every last cent on presents, decorations, holiday parties. They depend on this spending frenzy for their very existence. In all that flurry of activity, is there to be found time to really think about the baby that came into the world to give us a priceless gift. To teach us, to show us how to live with joy in our hearts and a peace that passes understanding. As Christians, that time is to be found in our Advent journey. Give yourself a gift, come to Church, spend time each day reflecting on what is important in your life and giving thanks to God.
Messy Church is December 11 and the theme is Christmas. We will be making some cool crafts, doing a science experiment, and reading the Christmas story. The doors open at 5:30. We will be having tacos and ice cream bars for dessert. I would encourage you to take some time this Advent and spend some quality family time at Messy Church.
The Rev’d Nancy Rowe
JOURNEY TO CHRISTMAS
We all know the story of the birth of Jesus. We have heard of the long journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and when they finally arrive, there is no place for the to stay, only the stable behind the inn is available. We have heard of the magi and their long journey to see the new king that had been foretold to them in the stars. We have heard of the shepherds who heard the call of the angels and came to the manger to see the newborn king. What we have in the Bible is the Cole’s notes version. If we use our imaginations and think of our own experiences in packing for trips, we know there is a lot more to the story. There was a great deal of preparation needed to make that happen.
Mary, without knowing it, had spent her whole life preparing to be the one who carried Jesus, by her devotion and love of God, by her actions, by her self- less way of being. Joseph had prepared as best as he was able for the long trip (maybe he could have booked a room ahead if only there had been Trivago). Joseph probably prepared the manger for the baby, cleaning it out, putting in fresh hay, laying the blanket down. The magi would have painstakingly prepared for a long trip through dangerous territory in lands that were not their own. The shepherds would have made sure the sheep were safe while they were gone. Maybe they drew lots to see who would stay behind. Every part of the story required preparation.
For us Advent (the four weeks before Christmas) is a time of preparation. The mystery of faith is that Christ has been, Christ is with us, and Christ is coming. Christ is both now and not yet. Advent is our time to prepare for the coming of Christ. To look at our lives and see where we fall short of what and who we are called to be. To renew promises to others and to God that have been neglected. To prepare a manger in our hearts for the coming of the Christ child.
“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7