“In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 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 2:1 NRSV
It is amazing to me to be sitting and writing this article as we enter Advent, but
here we are. This past Sunday marked the beginning of a new Liturgical Year. YAY!
For the Church, we enter into this new year and what better way to start a new
year, than to begin by longing for our Lord Jesus to come, to come again in glory, for
which we are all waiting, and to remember his first coming when the Word was made
flesh for us.
2020 has been quite the year. We need a new start, a new beginning, and what
better way than to cut the calendar year off right now! Let’s cut 2020 short and move
on! We need a break…. really … we need a break. We need to get back to some
normalcy. I long to shake your hands, to share some of those wonderful treats after
church. I yearn to listen to you … not from six feet away! You know what I truly miss?
I miss being able to welcome everyone before we start worship and walk down the
aisles being available to everyone and showing my appreciation for their attending our
worship, greeting visitors!
I just know that the page is turning, and we will get back together. Oh, not before
Christmas but I believe around Easter and certainly before Pentecost.
I pray we enter this season of Advent with true longing in our hearts. We are
longing for Jesus to turn the page. Perhaps we long for him to come back to fulfill the
promise he made to return and bring us home to God in heaven. We wait with hope,
peace, joy, and love longing for expected change, and joyful longing for that day.
Perhaps we wait to celebrate the birth yet one more time and sing the wonderful music
of Christmas (The staff has for almost a month now!).
But as we all know, sometimes (okay maybe a lot of times), we don’t like to wait.
We get impatient or lose focus. We may even forget what we are waiting for. I almost feel that we have been in the Advent season since March! I reflect as to
how I took for granted worship, gatherings, teaching, classes, dinners, and even
meetings. Like the old Joni Mitchell song, “Big Yellow Taxi.” The lyrics contain that
sentiment… “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s
The season of Advent helps us to pause and refocus ourselves. We take time, especially during these hectic days leading up to Christmas (notice that this has not changed!) to pause and remind ourselves what we are waiting for and the importance of always being alert and ready to greet our loving Lord. To refocus on what is truly important, Jesus’ birth into the world and His return to bring us home.
Let’s take this time of the real Advent season to slow down and redirect our
hearts to wait with joyful hope for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ, keeping our
eyes on the prize, and always seeking Jesus Christ!
I would urge you to look up the hymn, “Go Tell it on The Mountain” #136, and
read the lyrics. I ask you to notice that there is no fourth verse (or fifth) so I will supply it:
“When I am a seeker, I seek both night and day; I seek the Lord to help me, and He shows me the way: Go, Tell it on the Mountain, over the hills and everywhere, Go, Tell it on the Mountain that Jesus Christ is born!”
We hope you can join us for a special December of worship services; December 13th is the Cantata, December 21st (7pm on-line) is the Longest Night Service, and of course Christmas Eve (7pm in the Handicap Parking lot).
Have a safe and peaceful Christmas. We look forward to 2021 with bells a ringing!
Joan and Ken