I love the season of Advent. I love the Advent wreath. I love that we get some time to prepare for Christmas. (I love to wear the color blue in the Advent season. When Pastor Dave Keller was vicar at Ascension he could joke that in the whole year there were 4 Sundays for blue, and only two for red.) Last year I remember that we had two funerals during Advent – for Dick Vaughn and Chuck Cozad. I remember how powerful the Advent season was for bringing God’s comfort and hope. I hadn’t thought about it much before, being from the southern hemisphere, but in the north, as the days grow shorter, and the darkness longer, the lit candles on the wreath increase, and then on Christmas Eve the central Christmas candle is also lit, and in our Christmas Eve worship many candles are lit.
Oh, how we need the light of Christ, in ourselves, with our families and friends, in our city and nation and world. Who are you especially concerned about at this time? What situations in our country and world bring fear to you? Pray for the light of Christ to fill these people, these situations. It used to be that Christians in Syria could put up Christmas trees. Not so much now. But at least in some areas Christians and Muslims are watching out for each other, being neighborly. I love the Gospel reading for Christmas Eve – how the darkness of a Bethlehem night is pierced by the light, by the glory of God, and message of firstly one angel. It begins with – Fear Not, do not be afraid – I bring you good news (Gospel) that will cause great joy for all the people.
Advent is a time to prepare to hear that angelic message anew and afresh – that a savior is born for you, for all, one who is the Christ, the Lord. I wonder if you have family or friends that do not have a church home. You can tell them that we have a great celebration of Christmas here at Ascension at our two worship services on Christmas Eve (7pm and 10pm) And with Christmas Day being on a Sunday we also have one worship service at 11am.
And you can invite people to our various Advent celebrations – like the midweek Advent lunch and worship times on the 4 Wednesdays of Advent (starting November 30th) And there is the Nativity Display on Sunday December 11th. Let Peggy Dlusky know if you have a nativity to display.(I need to repair the broken leg of a llama in a nativity set from Peru.)
And on Sunday December 18th there is the children’s Christmas program in the evening. Feel free to bring along grandchildren, friends with children. There are plenty of costumes for each child to dress up in and to be a part of the story. I am really looking forward to celebrating Advent and Christmas with you all this year.
In love and peace,
- Pastor Tim
P.S. Don’t forget the 12 days of Christmas for your celebrating. The light comes into the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.
DECEMBER SCRIPTURE READINGS