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December 2009

posted Dec 18, 2014, 2:59 PM by Henry McTague

Dear Friends in Christ,

Advent is upon us and the Christmas preparations have begun. We will light the candles of hope, joy, love and peace; we will hear the story of Christ’s birth proclaimed by our youth and brought to life before our eyes in the Living Nativity; we will gather in early evening darkness on December 24th to remember the promise of new life given to us in the birth of the Savior. Together, we will sing our joy.

Advent is the season of waiting; Christmas is the time of receiving; and Epiphany is the journey of moving forward in hope, as the pathway is illuminated by the light of love. Right now we are living the days of anticipation, even though we know the story from beginning to end. The days will speed by, mysterious packages will be smuggled into the house and tucked away, Christmas cards will fill the mail boxes with paper and our hearts with news of friends and loved ones far away, and the rituals that bring us comfort will be played out one more time. This is the joy of the season for many.

The sorrow of the season can also lay heavily on many – places at the table that are now empty, the challenges of chronic illness and infirmity, broken relationships that hold little possibility of wholeness, or folks struggling with a crisis of faith. It the midst of a world that appears to be filled with holiday celebration, the isolation of loneliness and despair is profound. And yet, even to those filled with sadness, the miracle of Christmas will come and gently brush away the sharp edges of unhappiness, issuing a persistent invitation to let the blessing of hope enter in.

Wherever the Christmas season finds you, may you be open to receiving its gifts – the promise of hope, the assurance of love, the dream of peace, and the blessing of joy. Those gifts are with us every day – not only Christmas – but each and every day. As you open your hearts to these gifts, remember to share them with others with the gentleness with which they are given to you. The hope of the season made flesh in the birth of a tiny baby will never disappoint us, for it is the truest reflection of the eternal love which God has for us – it is the hope that never dies.

Wishing you every Christmas blessing,

Pastor Gail

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