The Gift that Keeps on Giving.
Last week I wrote about the wonderful turnout for the BBB Christmas Parade and here we are at the weekend before Christmas. It seems like this Advent has simply shot past us. I am very happy to hear that so many of you have enjoyed using the Little Black Book as a way of deepening your experience of this marvelous season. You’ll be glad to know that the series for Lent has arrived already!
One fear that I have each year is that when we finally get to Christmas Day it will arrive with a sense of anti-climax. After all the rushing around and decorating and writing cards (still haven’t written mine!) and buying and wrapping presents, will we find ourselves on Christmas Day with a sense of “what was all that about?!”
I began Advent by remarking how sad I find it that people can go to so much trouble straight after Thanksgiving only to take the whole thing down again on Christmas afternoon. If we are to get the full meaning out of our celebration of Christmas then we need to focus our attention beyond the day itself to the wonder of what it is that we are celebrating. The Christchild whose birth we celebrate on December 25th is Immanuel - God made man, not just any other cute little baby. This fact means that we need to celebrate His presence with us at all times, in every situation. As St. Paul told us last week - “Rejoice in the Lord, always! Again I say rejoice! Our appreciation for the astonishing gift of a share in the very life of the Blessed Trinity should know no bounds, it should permeate everything we do and think and say and dream.
As you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, open your hearts too to the Lord whose birth we celebrate. Allow Him to enter into your life just as He did all those years ago into the lives of Mary and Joseph and the Shepherds - quietly, unassumingly. Invite Him to take up lodging in the depths of your heart and soul so that from there He may go out to all your loved ones. Pray that as they open the gifts you have got for them they experience not only the love which you send them but also the love of the One who is Love Personified. That way they will truly receive the “Gift that keeps on giving.”
This is my first Christmas as your Pastor. Thank you for having made me feel so very welcome here in my first six months. I pray that together we can continue to make the presence of Christ the Prince of Peace, the Savior of the World a deeper reality not just in our Church community of St. Luke but also in the larger community of BBB and South Brevard (and yes, we’ll even stretch ourselves across the county/diocesan line to Indian River!)
Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël, Feliz Navidad, Buon Natale and Nollaig Shona — that’s Irish (Gaelic) and it’s pronounced ‘Nullig hunna’
Can you believe I Googled “Christmas Image” to find a picture - not ONE nativity scene or mention of Christ!