From the Pastor’s Desk
Advent Series: Calm and Bright
This is the 200th anniversary of the debut of ‘Silent Night, Holy Night.’ This hymn has become the best-loved worship event of many Christians. Something mystical occurs as we light our candles and sing the hope of “all is calm, all is bright” — peace and light for the world. This worship series will celebrate the carols message over the entire season of Advent and highlight its call for our lives that can guide us all year long.
Advent 1: Sleep in Peace — Peace
One of the most famous stories about this beloved hymn took place in World War One. British and German soldiers on the front lines called a truce on Christmas Day. So close were the encampments from which they were fighting one another, they could hear each other in the peaceful quiet of the truce singing ‘Silent Night,’ each in their own language. This prompted the soldiers to come out and meet on the battlefield, without weapons, and they spent the day playing soccer and exchanging small gifts — whatever they had. God desires a heavenly peace for all of humanity…that is why the infant Jesus came. Is it possible to bring calm and bright to our own corners of the world?
Advent 2: Glories Stream — Joy
The shepherds got quite a wake-up call that night when the sky lit up ‘like a Christmas tree’ (so to speak). Awe at the transformative glory of what God can do in our lives is the focus this week. Glories are streaming every day if we only have eyes to see. How would our lives be renewed if we saw the world and our lives through the lens of wonder?
Advent 3: Redeeming Grace — Love
The birth of Jesus, Son of God, is the ‘dawn of redeeming grace’ says the third verse of Silent Night. God so desired to be up close and personal that God came to live, breathe, feel, teach, touch, and love. Made in the image of God, we are called to nurture relationships that radiate that grace in our world. What would the world be like if ‘love’s pure light’ was at the center?
Advent 4: Let Us Sing — Hope
The last verse of ‘Silent Night’ invites us to lift our voices in alleluias to the one who is King. We reminded by this gentle and beautiful hymn that whenever there is injustice in this world, we are to look to the One whose power is love. How might this increase our hope for the future?
Christmas Eve: Calm and Bright
There is just something about Christmas Eve. It is hard to describe that ‘something’ that many of us feel and it is different, to be sure, for everyone. Whatever our reason, we love to hear ‘all is call, all is bright.’ On this night, we remember the promise of God — that God would be ‘Emmanuel,’ God-with-us forever more.
Sunday after Christmas: …Is Born
The story continues. Even though we feel as if the Christmas season is over and the tree is so quick to come down, the real story begins in the renewal of our very souls as God nudges us toward new life and possibilities in the new year. What is being born within us?