By Pastor Wes Poole

Luke 2: 10-11

 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. – NRSV

The seasons of Advent and Christmas are times I really cherish.  The warmth of a loving God, revealed to us in the birth of His son, is made all the clearer to us as we celebrate together in the brisk cold of our Northeastern Winter. The weeks prior to Christmas are filled with a living tension and expectancy. God is coming!! After this, everything will be different. Even the festive, secular, and often overly commercial side of the season merely seems to add to the wonder, the beauty, and the sheer magic of this most blessed of celebrations.  

I recently watched, for the umpteenth time, one of my favorite movies, based on one of my favorite book series’, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Now many of you may think that’s a strange place to go for inspiration in writing an Advent devotion. Perhaps, but one thing I always take away from the film, which was very close to the book, was the sense of wonder in the eyes of the main character. Young Harry’s entire world was changed practically overnight. The dreary, joyless life he had led heretofore was transformed into one of limitless possibility and continual amazement. The look of pure, unadulterated delight in Harry’s eyes as his new life unfolded was poignant and quite touching. This is the look that can be seen in the eyes of the believer when we realize that God, in the person of a helpless little child, has transformed our existence into something new and wonderful. Life as it was known before is no longer. Now we see everything in the context of our new life in Jesus Christ.  

As we travel together the journey of Advent towards the miracle of Christmas, I hope we can capture some of the breathless amazement at the blessings our God has given us. Yes, this will be a Christmas like no other. COVID, once again, is forcing us to do things differently to keep one another safe. Nevertheless, COVID cannot change the fact that we are a family of faith, united together in the great hope that was first realized in a stable in Bethlehem. God has come among us and has changed us. Sin’s attempts to enslave us have been rendered futile and we have been set free to tell God’s story to the world. Let us stir up in ourselves and in those around us the wonder that is Christmas. It is the most miraculous story ever told. May we always tell it with the delight and wonder of a child!

And may Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit grant us a truly blessed celebration of His Son’s Nativity.

Let us pray…

God of all wonder and joy, we come to you in this most blessed of seasons to give you thanks for the advent of Immanuel in our lives. Help us always to show others the way to joy of living life in the light of your grace; shown in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is in his name we pray. Amen.

Be well, be kind, be safe, and be joyful! Immanuel is coming!

Blessings always,

Pastor Wes †