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“Not the Sermon” Message

This Week at Trinity, Beamsville

Friday, December 13, 2019

Dear Friends,

            This week I had the gift of a visit with a very dear sister in Christ.  She’s not one who loves the limelight so she shall remain nameless for here, but I can’t help saying that her presence strengthens me, even as she brings me to tears of laughter.  Our set-aside visits are too infrequent, as we both seem to be running most of our days, but when they do happen, they involve tea, her wisdom, and proof that good company is food for the soul. 

            This week’s tea was served up in a mug seemingly made just for me… and I’m guessing also you?  Somehow crafted on a distinct angle, and yet able to hold tea just fine, the outside simply describes this season:  “On the 13th day of Christmas, I collapsed.”  Life isn’t quite that dramatic, in ministry or on the home front, but it is definitely a full and pressing calendar these days.  I can hear you nodding.  I can see the same reality on your faces and hear it in your voices.  Somehow every December, every lead up to Christmas, every potentially bucolic Advent journey ramps up to a race to get it all it done:  in time, under budget, and yet still over and above anything we’ve never known before… at least that’s what the commercials will try to persuade. 

            What’s a faithful Jesus-follower to do, as we try to find the Way to Bethlehem, all the while holding our spirits intact?  The struggle is real, as I rarely say.  The struggle strikes at the core of our lifelong pursuit to hold fast to the tenets of our faith, even as we long to celebrate with generosity and grace.  Incarnational proclamations don’t sit comfortably alongside overflowing materialism, and yet somehow we try to express and share Love in tangible means. 

            Cultural patterns can’t be shifted in a few hundred words of musing, but I can most certainly offer a two-part invitation; actually, let’s say three-part.  First:  come and gather in the Joy that only a children’s program can bring, as we worship this 3rd Sunday of Advent and learn the “Christmas ABCs”.  Second:  know that there is time and space for us to bring whatever we can to share with others, through this White Gift Sunday.  With food, toys or monetary donations directed to Community Care West Niagara OR monetary support for Gifts with Vision toward clean drinking water in Zambia OR all of the above, our sanctuary will overflow with giving to God’s beloved beyond us.  Last but not least:  come back in the evening for our annual Choir Christmas Concert, starting at 7pm.  The theme this year is Love, but we shall ‘See Amid the Winter’s Snow’ that Joy is abundantly ready.  It is ours for the receiving, all over again. 

Blessed Advent, and truest joy to you all,

Heather

And isn’t that what Christmas is really about?

(‘Christmas ABCs’)

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