A Pastoral Word
“It’s Christmas Season again! Buy, Buy, Buy!!” “You’ll ruin Christmas if you don’t have the perfect gift.” “Buy the new items (tools, cars, toys, etc) and you’ll make their Christmas merry!” BUY, BUY, BUY!!
These slogans have been ringing in my ears for the last few months. It started back in October while I was shopping in a few stores and I noticed them there earlier in a few other stores. The chorus of “Buy, Buy, Buy” or “I Want, I Want, I Want” are trying to drown out the choruses of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” The sound of “Ch-Ching” and dollars signs are trying push Mary and Joseph along or even out of the way as we journey along to Bethlehem.
Buy, Buy, Buy!
During this time of year, we as consumers hear the hypnotic sounds of sales and deals. During this time of year, we as Christians, hear a different message. We hear the chorus of angels singing “Gloria in excelsis Deo!” We hear the promises of peace and hope for all of God’s children. We hear the good news that a child is born who will bring us goodness and life!
Joy, Joy, Joy!
We come to the time of year that is one of the most sacred times for the church: Advent. A time when we remember God’s promises to God’s people and a time when we eagerly await the fulfilling of those promises. A time when we celebrate the anticipation of God’s Kingdom.
Peace, Peace, Peace!
We begin our celebration of Advent on Sunday, December 2 by decorating our sanctuary with wreath, placing greens in our windows, and hearing the prophet Isaiah remind of us God’s promises to God’s faithful people. And continue our advent journey for four Sundays until we celebrate the birth of the Christ child on Christmas Eve.
Love, Love, Love!
During the season of Advent, we as Christians are called to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ through study and prayer. We as Christians are called to journey to Bethlehem, eagerly anticipating the Good News that is to come. We are called to recognize that our Savior will come again one day and all things will be made right in our world. There will be no more wars. There will be no more hunger. There will be no more hate or hurt.
Hope, Hope, Hope!
During the season of Advent, we as people of faith claim the journey to Bethlehem. During the season of Advent, we as people of faith tell the consumer side of Christmas, “No more!” During the season of Advent, we celebrate and anticipate the vision of what will be.
Each week, we get a little closer to the manger. Each week, we light a candle on our Advent wreath, reminding us of the warmth of God’s Holy light. Each week, we hear the promises of the prophets overpower the consumerism of Christmas so that we can hear the cries of a baby born to us, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice, Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”