You are loved!

I don’t know about you, but I find myself, during these weeks leading up to Christmas, simultaneously filled by the joy and anticipation of the season, as well as running from one activity to another, barely on top of what’s coming next. This year in particular, it might feel like four weeks is not enough time to get ready for Christmas. There is a sense, perhaps, that “I just can’t get it all done.” Well, here’s the good news: You don’t have to. You see, there’s too much joy, too much hope, too much tenderness, too much vulnerability, too much celebration for just one day of Christmas, or even 12 days of the Christmas season—too much promise even for four weeks of Advent. There is so much for us in the good news of God coming among us that it likely, if perceived well, will take our whole lives to embrace, understand, and live. And yet, at the core of this season, the good news of the coming of Christmas day, is this: You are loved, you are loved, you are loved—beyond the telling. And this love is from God, who chooses not simply to offer us this relationship from a distance, but instead, comes to us with the promise of life. And how else, friends, could this love come to us, except in tenderness and vulnerability, that is, as a babe lying in a manger? For this Advent season is not a time of preparation for Christmas morning, but rather, the mooring of Christ in us and we, in Christ. So, take a moment—I mean it—and find a space to remind yourself that beyond the running to and fro, the checklists and wishlists alike, there is the promise that you and yours and all are loved by God and no thing can change this holy-day truth.
Join us this Sunday as we are visited by Allie Card, the Executive Director of Family Promise. She will share with us at both the 7:45am and 10am services. At 9am we will gather downstairs for our Holy Conversation as I facilitate a conversation about Belonging with Allie and all who gather. What does it mean to belong in this world of ours? What is keeping us from belonging or feeling as if we belong? Then, in the evening, all are invited to gather at the church at 4pm as we go out into our local neighborhoods to carol, offer a sense of community and belonging through song and invitation, and return to the church for hot chocolate and cookies. This Sunday promises the hope and love of this Advent season, not only through word and sacrament, but through relationship with one another.
See you on Sunday,