The final days of Advent are upon us. Soon we will listen again as the angel delivers good news of great joy for all the people: a baby, wrapped in bands of cloth, lying in a manger.
Are you ready? Did you prepare well enough this Advent to really open your heart to Christmas this year?
Me neither. But the good news is that what we celebrate at Christmas is not up to us. We’ll never do it right; we don’t have to. Christmas is God’s gift to us, given right into the heart of everyday life to people who mostly weren’t paying attention. Into the chaos of travel and census and childbirth: good tidings, great joy, for all people. Ready or not. It’s a gift we learn to unwrap – little by little, Christmas by Christmas – over the course of a lifetime.
What is the true meaning of Christmas, then? God knows people have tried hard enough to put it into words. In the chaos of our own lives as in the chaos of Bethlehem: “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” and “to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray” and “God so loved the world” and “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”
So each year we gather again to remember it, to imagine ourselves into the scene, to let it work in us, helping us discover that little bit more what Christmas means for us right now. I hope you can join us here at St. Martin’s as we celebrate this great gift together — our services are at 5:00pm on Christmas Eve, and at 10am on Christmas day. But, wherever you celebrate Christmas this year, whether you are here with us or with other loved ones far away, may God, who sent angels to proclaim the glad news of our savior’s birth, give you joy and peace.
Christmas Eve — December 24, 2016
5pm Candlelit service of Carols and Holy Communion (our principal Christmas service)
Christmas Day — December 25, 2016
10am Quiet Holy Communion (without music)
Please join us!