For once I am not going to complain in my usual way, "I can't believe its time for Christmas already!" As my husband Bob points out to me, "Since when do you not know that Christmas comes every December 25?"
The holiday does seem to surprise me every year. The stores have been ready since July but I am still behind! In the church we begin by celebrating the season of Advent, a special time of preparation.
Theologian N. T. Wright writes, "The Gospel of Luke has the angels singing to the shepherds and the shepherds then going to find Jesus in the most unlikely place - a manger - proving that the angels' words had been true." With Luke we watch with horror as Jesus goes to his death and then celebrating with astonished joy as he rises to launch God's new world.
I pray for all of us that this month of December will be a time for encouragement, renewal, justice, and celebration. Let the hope and joy of Mary's song of praise (Luke 1) fill your hearts with the blessing of God's gift of new life. Wherever you are in life, know that Advent-Christmas is God's gift to us all.
Pastor Elaine and Dr. Bob,
John, Ryan, Molly, and Ben,
Michael and Melissa, Gabriel, James, Mikey, and Sophia
Bob and Rebecca, Jackson and Jacob
Still In One Piece,
Pastor Elaine Hower