Advent began, Sunday, December the 2nd and will end on Monday, December 24th.
‘Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas and the return of Jesus at the Second Coming. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning ‘coming.’ Wikipedia
And so a; suffering and divided human family awaits the birth of the baby, who was forced to be born in a manger…because there was no room for him in the Inn.
‘No one is really sure when Advent was first celebrated but it dates back to at least 567 when monks were ordered to fast during December leading up to Christmas.
I recall, vividly, our first Christmas Eve Service at First Presbyterian Church. It began at 11:00 P:M:. Our pastor, in 1998, had a bit of old world panache and a helping of Dickensian aura, about him.
I had always been a lover of all things Christmas…but I had never experienced the emotionally moving celebration of the birth of Jesus…on Christmas Eve.
The service concluded with the singing of Silent Night…by candlelight.
As we exited the sanctuary and wished each other a Merry Christmas…it felt like Christmas…in my heart…in a profound way!
As the years have flown by…we have made it a practice to attend the Christmas Eve Service…whenever possible.
I remember Pastor Janice asking Jonathon to participate in the candel lighting ceremony…and how she put her arm around him…and he could not refuse.
One advent, I was asked to participate with the choir…as a reader of Christmas related passages. I had a bad knee, that was hurting terribly, but I soldiered on, and it was one of my most memorable advents!
Our afflicted world cries out for the birth of the Prince of Peace.
‘For a child will be born to us, as son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on his shoulders;
And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6
I wrote in my last blog; but I must say again…that the kindness of our fellow congregants as Mary Jane is recuperating…and their, demonstrated concern, is unparalled in my religious life…that has reached 50 years!
When we tell people about the birth of Jesus…let us demostrate…by our deeds…what the baby born in a manger…means to us.