Dear Friends, Neighbors, Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We have now entered the season of Advent. The annual celebration of Christmas is approaching. The call of the Advent season is to take some time, reflect, worship and pray. The call of Advent is to prepare, be ready, be awake, and to look for opportunities to meet God and to welcome God's love into your life and into the world around you. Because,...... we sure need it.
Enjoy the approach of the Christmas season. Enjoy the music, the decorations, the lights, the food, the Christmas trees, the wonder of children, the first snows of winter, and special time with family, neighbors and friends. Celebrate. Anticipate. Taste and see and feel and touch and notice it all. Take it in.
No one, today, can be sure about the day and time of Jesus' birth more than two thousand years ago, but the early Christian Church (based, in the beginning, in the northern hemisphere) decided to celebrate Christmas at the end of December, at the darkest time of the year. They thought it best to celebrate the spark of hope, the small candle in the darkness, the helpless child born to a young mother and father alone and far from home, in their darkest days as they moved into the coldest days of winter.
The message of Christmas is an announcement of joy to a people who need to hear good news. So, Christmas does not mean that we do not see or feel the troubles of our lives or of the world around us. We have needs and grief and troubles of our own. There is a lot of need in the neighborhoods and communities near to us and we know of the great challenges faced by our nation and by nations and peoples around the world.
On this Christmas (as in every year), we gather in hope, relying on faith, placing our lives and our dreams in God's hands anew each day. Enjoy the positive spirit of Christmas. Open the door and let it in. Because,.... we sure need it.
God knows you. God made you and the world, as well. Rest in God's arms and in the good will and the hope of Christmas.
Luke 2: 10 - 12 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’
Peace, Pastor Dan Olson