PASTOR’S CORNER Nov. 27, 2012
I am grateful for all those who have taken the time to read the pamphlet on Tithing and have decided to take the “plunge”. We are already seeing an increase in the number of those taking the time to pray, serve and share with greater fervor. God will continue to bless us as we are humbly obedient to his “Blueprint”. If you did not receive one of the pamphlets, they are available in the Gathering Space.
This weekend is we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent. As we journey through this season of “expectant waiting” I recall the words of C.S. Lewis who wrote that the most dangerous moment in a person’s life is when they learn the meaning of the word “tomorrow” because then they believe they will always have one. The readings of Advent remind us that we are not “owed” a tomorrow and that we must be prepared to meet God today. During Advent we are challenged to discern our spiritual readiness both in the present and for our everlasting life. As usual, I again encourage you, as a family, to take part in the “Jesse Tree” experience. (Readings are in the Gathering Space). This simply means to read and discuss the Readings of each day during Advent, preferably at dinner, and draw or create the different symbols of the Jesse Tree, placing them in a prominent position in the home, usually near the Advent Wreath. This spiritual discipline will help you and your family to truly prepare to celebrate the fullness of the Christmas Season.
Again the “Hot Topic this time of year is: “What is the true meaning of Christmas?” One only has to read the scriptures of Advent to hear the answer loud and clear. Christmas is about “PASSION!!!” All week there will be stories of God hearing the prayers of childless couples and miraculously granting them their hearts desire, the gift of children and the gift of passion. Today there are so many relationships that are sterile. Relationships between spouses, children, friends and neighbors seem to be so superficial and lacking the essential element of passionately embracing life that life may flow in abundance.
We have a God who loves us passionately, who created us to rejoice and enjoy life by blessing one another. Christmas is God’s Passionate Gift to us in the very person of Jesus Christ the Messiah who showed us how to live life to the fullest. We celebrate this gift by reaching out in love to one another and especially to those who are disenfranchised because of the injustices of our world. This Christmas I encourage you to pray for the gift of passion and zeal and realize that each day we do so our God will place someone in our lives who needs us to embrace them with the love of Jesus Christ. Happy Shopping and have a Blessed and Passionate Christmas Season.
An ancient Aramian text gives a new twist on what the angels really sang at the first Christmas: “Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax et hilaritas hominibus.” (glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and hilarity among all people). Have a joyful Advent Season!!