Today, our children acquainted the congregation with the meanings behind many of the Christmas symbols, including the giving of gifts.
Advent Reflection on Love
We celebrate Love’s season with glittering lights
and pregnant credit cards.
We feed the faceless in crowded church cellars and salvation shelters,
our gloved bells ringing, our kettles swinging,
our madrigal singing giving voice to the birth.
Yet deep within the din and dance Nativity whispers our name;
Stop! Look! Listen! Hope is birthed in a feeding trough!
Lean forward, celebrate the gift anew!
Receive Love’s child again!
—excerpted from “Nativity’s Whisper” by Danny Belrose, Wave Offerings, (Herald Publishing House, 2005, ISBN 9780830912117), 124.
For our Disciples Generous Response, we participated in a processional offering of our monetary gifts to be used toward the Outreach International well project. We’ve been saving to help purchase a Water Well: Do Good. Do Well. Life without clean water is shorter and more stressful. The addition of a water well in a community is as life-changing as it is lifesaving. It returns trust to simple acts such as drinking, cooking, and bathing, eliminating the specter of waterborne disease lurking in every drop. Without a well nearby, community members spend hours each day walking long distances, waiting in long lines, carrying heavy containers, and boiling every drop, instead of working to earn a living or focusing on addressing other needs present in their lives. Add a well, and watch the rising tide lift all boats— more time every day to earn income, do household chores, raise families, and relax at the end of it all with a well-earned glass of refreshment.
We also enjoyed an impromptu Christmas carol songfest. So here is an impromptu youtube channel of some Religious an Traditional Christmas songs.
We give thanks for peace during this time of waiting, for this beautiful but broken world in which we live. As we do so, however, we also wonder, is peace even possible? As we wait in this space in between, waiting for the Christ child to be born and waiting for Christ to return, we wonder—is our world beyond redemption?
Remind us, Creator, that as followers of Jesus, we wait in expectation and in hope and in love. We don’t exist in empty waiting. We wait and we pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” Remind us that we live and serve in hope that your kingdom of justice and peace will indeed come, bringing healing to the whole, groaning creation. We press on together, giving blessing, honor, and glory to God, now and forevermore. Amen.
—based on “We Proclaim Jesus Christ,” Sharing in Community of Christ, 3rd ed., (Herald Publishing House, 2012, ISBN 9780830915736), 23.