Date: December 26th
Written by Pastor Ashley, read in worship by Rich Schantz. This was a Lessons and Carols service, the order of the lessons and carols were:
I do not have a full sermon for you this morning, or even a lot to say, just a short reflection as we begin this Christmas season. Our readings this morning took us from Gabriel appearing to Mary, onto Jesus's birth and the many visitors that came to meet and worship him, all the way through the beginnings of his life on earth. Many feel like the countdown to Christmas goes so fast, like going through stories of Jesus's life from conception to age 12 in only a short worship service. But as Christians, we have been waiting, anticipating this time, praying for it, singing about it, reading about it, and now we are finally in the time of celebration! We were preparing for Christmas, but lucky for us, it did not start and stop yesterday. The countdown we might have had was not until the end of the Christmas season. For us, we counted down to its beginning! Yesterday was merely the start of this season where we joyfully remember that we have a God who appeared to us incarnate in a helpless baby, who grew up to do extraordinary things. This is the short reflection I offer us this morning, as the season of Christmas is in its own form of infancy. What will we do each day of this Christmas season to find the joy that we are promised in Jesus. When Gabriel first appeared to Mary, he said he brought Good News of Great Joy, and I can only hope that we might in this day be able to find those moments of joy throughout our coming days of Christmas.