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Holy Eucharist & Sunday School 10am

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The Episcopal Church in the City of Euclid

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

Advent. So often we set the Church and the world up against one another, pushing back against Christmas music before Jesus has been placed in the crèche, leaving the decorating until the last minute to honor the waiting that we see the world rushing to bypass.

At the same time, we are all preparing for Christmas.

If Christmas is our destination, our ending, then it is easy to understand why the world wants to extend it backwards. If our joy is finished after December 25 (or January 6, if we celebrate the full twelve days of Christmas), then why not start early to enjoy it more?

But in the Church, we understand Christmas not as an ending but as a beginning. We see new life in the birth of the infant Jesus. We see it in the expectation of his coming in clouds of glory – to usher in a new creation, a new kingdom, a new way of being with God, as God dwells with us, Emmanuel. If Christmas is just the beginning, we can afford to wait for it.

And we need the time. If Christmas is a beginning, and not an ending, then we have some real work to determine what we will take with us into the new creation, and what should be left behind (self-examination and penitence). We have work to do to strengthen our selves for a new journey (prayer and bible study, the practice of generosity).

Most of all, we have hope that extends beyond the completion of the season of Advent, beyond the twelve days of Christmas. We have the hope of new birth, the daily visitation of Christ’s resurrection, the renewal of God’s promises morning by morning to be with us, Emmanuel.

And so in Advent, while the stores play Silver Bells, selling Christmas as a finite destination, our pilgrim hearts hum, O come, O come, Emmanuel …

Praying for a blessed, peaceful, and renewing Advent and Christmas season for us all,

Rosalind +