Angels Announce Jesus’s Birth

The Angels Announce Jesus’s Birth, And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men Luke 2:13-14 (KJV)
 
As we enter Advent and await Christmas, we are reminded that Christ’s coming fulfilled many oracles from the Hebrew Scriptures. Still, the coming of Messiah was a surprise to the world—perhaps most of all to Mary!
 
During Advent, our Worship Services and Bible Studies hail from the title: “UNDER WRAPS!” I invite you to consider these four weeks what you might have “under wraps” this year. Are the glitter, materialism, and busyness of the Season keeping our identities as Disciples of the Incarnated One “under wraps?” Our themes these next four Sunday’s are “God is Expectant,” “God is Dangerous,” “God is Jealous,” and “God is Faithful.” Let’s hope (and please keep this in your prayers) our UNDER WRAPS series can help us reveal our true identities as Servants of the One who comes to save us.
 
Just a note about a new Worship Service we are offering this year—The Longest Night/Blue Christmas Service. December 21st is the Winter Solstice and, as such, literally the longest night of the year. We will gather at 7:00p on that night recognizing that Christmas is neither a cause of celebration nor a joyous occasion for everyone. Folks suffer at Christmas after the loss of a loved one or some other traumatic event(s) that have occurred in their lives. Perhaps, you are simply lonely this year. The Longest Night Service is a time when folk are urged to gather and bring life’s burdens with them—especially if they are angry with God—and acknowledge these burdens before God (silently or verbally) within the context of a Worship Service. The Blue Christmas includes symbolic actions and you are invited to bring an ornament with you to hang and leave on the Christmas tree during the Service as a symbol of having spoken your heart to God. All are welcome at this Service and if you know of someone that might be lonely this year for whatever reason, I urge you to bring them to this Service.
 
As usual, we will offer the 11:00p Christmas Eve Service with Holy Communion. This year we will take up a special offering during the Service to benefit Brian’s Safe House in Beckley. This vital faith-based ministry is helping men recover from substance addiction and abuse. In our area, drug abuse is the major contributor to family dysfunction resulting in child hunger. Please prayerfully consider how you might sacrifice this year and support the work of Brian’s Safe House. Ask your friends and family to consider donating too when you invite them to the
Christmas Eve Service.
 
Grace and Peace to all,

Pastor Scott