From the Pastor’s Desk December 2019

November 25th, 2019 by Kali Lewis

Dear Advent Season Saints, as we prepare ourselves for our Lord’s birthday, we are reminded of our need for a Savior. Each of us looks around and finds that the world is full of opportunities to ignore what God has done for us. Whether it is our employment, our school work or activities, our family life, or our recreation, we place our need for redemption on the back burner. In Mark 1:2-8 we read of John the Baptist “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” We also read that “people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” In verses two and three, Mark quotes the prophet Isaiah as follows: “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” During Advent, which begins on December 1st and will end on Christmas Eve, we confess our sins; we listen to the proclamation of a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Like the people of Judea and Jerusalem, we clamor for salvation. We want to be made whole.    During this Advent season, it is tempting to move ahead to Christmas and totally ignore our brokenness. December becomes all about the Joy of Christmas Day. Wall Street proclaims that this is the Holiday Season where merchants attempt to get consumers to forget about their problems and empty their pocketbooks on the latest toys for children and adults. As the Church, however, we proclaim a different message. We proclaim that we are preparing the way of the Lord and making his paths straight. We are reflecting on our lives so that we can present ourselves with real joy on Christmas Day. Christmas begins on Christmas Day and lasts for twelve days until Epiphany. As we awaken on the morning of December 25th, I pray that our hearts will be uplifted with the knowledge that once again we remember the birth of our Lord and Savior and how God split the heavens and broke into our existence in the form of a little baby. I pray that this will be a humbling recollection and bring us to an understanding of the gift for which we are responsible. The gift of life, the gift of our salvation is too wonderful to hold within our own hearts. It is too wonderful to simply confine to the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. The gift we have been given is meant to be shared with others in community. That is precisely what worship is all about. Christianity is all about worshiping as a community. We are not meant to be solitary worshipers. With that in mind, I hope to see all of you at our Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve as we sing praises to the Lord and remind ourselves of why Christmas is so important to our individual lives and the life of the church.

Polly and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year.