By Pastor Wes Poole
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. NRSV
’Tis the Season!” once again! Advent Hymns (sung in the silence of my heart!), gold tinsel, Christmas Shopping, Advent Calendars, houses decked out with lights and assorted finery, churches adorned with Chrismons and greenery, Christmas Carols (timely or no!), and the positively over the top festivity that is the “Holiday Season”! With all the different activities going on this time of year, I suppose it would be easy for the season to develop a bit of an identity crisis…and I guess it does for many people. For me though, I just try to keep one thing in the center of it all…the Godchild, Immanuel, God who is with us being born among us…Jesus Christ the Savior of humanity and the ultimate hope for all people. That is the Spirit of Christmas. Nothing at all, neither pandemics nor purchasing pandemonium can change that. When we realize that and allow it to permeate the tone of this truly merry season, we don’t have to deplore or feel guilty about all of the secular trappings that come along for the ride. I love everything about Christmas…OK, so I’m not too crazy about over crowded malls and the hyper shopping that’s part of that…but that’s just my problem…and this year is all about online shopping anyway!! ☺
For the Christian, the period of transition starting with Advent and continuing through Christmas and Epiphany cannot be underestimated. Now is the time when we hear again and ponder the amazing beginnings of the Story of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Story of God coming among us and changing the way we see our place in Creation. Because of the One whose birth we will soon celebrate, we have been put right with God and set loose on a world whose people still need to hear the Story told over and over again. We’re the ones who are now charged with keeping the Story alive and proclaiming it to all of our brothers and sisters. It begins now, in this watchful season we call Advent and continues throughout the year as Story unfolds…birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension. It is the Life Cycle of the church; the Life Cycle of our faith. In this most festive of times, let us rededicate ourselves to the ongoing journey that is our life of faith.
May the blessed and joyous spirit of this holy season inspire us to serve faithfully all year long!
Let us pray…
God who is with us, we thank you for this time of celebration and preparation, as we look for the coming of the baby in the manger. During the festive nature of this season, grant us generous hearts and a renewed zeal for service in the coming year. May we see the radiant face of your Son in the faces of our brothers and sisters everywhere; that we might continue to reach out to others in his Name. For it is in the Name of Jesus the Immanuel that we pray. Amen.
Be well, be kind, be safe, and enjoy this blessed season!
Your Partner in Christ,