I Didn’t Know Christ left…

Good morning

Well, here we are again. Another year has passed and this coming Saturday we will kick off our Advent celebrations with the traditional Candlelight Concert. As Christians, the first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of our year. We will set out on the road that will lead us to Bethlehem and the birth of Love in a broken and hurting world. We will hear the familiar stories that are filled with mystery, wonder, seeking, and amazing grace.

In the secular world we are entering the Christmas season with all that that brings with it. There are parades and shopping and Santa Claus. Families will be preparing their homes integrating traditions that have been passed down through the years from a variety of sources both secular and spiritual.

These two things have become interwoven for many and each celebration has its own piece of wonder and joy. There are some who have difficulty with this thinking that it must be completely one or the other but that is not our reality as people of faith. If the Christian path is one that speaks to you and you have chosen to follow in the footsteps of Jesus it doesn’t mean that you cannot also share in the beauty of the secular season. Nor does it mean that a person who does not share the faith story cannot appreciate those who do. We can in fact co-exist and learn to share the meaning of this season that speaks of sharing, love, light and so much more.

There is a phrase that seems to have taken on a life of its own among some Christians in the last few years – “Keep Christ in Christmas”. Now I have to say that from the first time I heard this it rubbed me the wrong way. My first thought as a Christian was that “I didn’t know that Christ left!” and I have never understood why, for those who are not Christian it would matter. As I reflected on this however for me there was something deeper. The word “Keep” really doesn’t sit well with me because I think it relays a message that is counter to what we are called to be about as followers of Jesus. As Christians, our calling is to come into the presence of the holy and to allow that experience to form and shape us. Once that happens we do not “keep” the Christ in one time or place but we become the hands and feet of Christ and reflect that every day of every year.

So as we open ourselves this season to all the possibilities that it has to offer may we have moments of insight, challenge, love, joy and hope. May these moments shape our lives in such a way that Christ is not kept in Christmas but unleashed upon the world and through us becomes the transforming power of Love.

Blessings, Valerie

Reminders of the Week ~ It’s Time to Mark your calendars!!!

December 2nd – Candlelight Concert 7pm

December 3rd – First Sunday of Advent with communion

December 9th – Cantabile Concert “Cantabile Christmas with Brass” tickets now available at the church office

December 10th – White Gift Sunday, Mini Market, Sunday School Pageant….. A day filled with wonderful and joy filled chaos!!!! Lunch will be provided following Worship!! Come one, Come all!!!

December 21st – Concert of 100 Candles featuring “Blackwood” Take some time from the busyness, on the longest night of the year, to breathe deeply and open your being to the calming presence of the holy.

December 24th – 10:30 am Children’s Service . There will be lots of action, noise and joy as together we tell the story!!
7pm – Christmas in story and in song
10pm – Candlelight Communion

December 25th – 10am Christmas Day Service – we will gather around the tree in the church hall for a time of sharing stories and singing.

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