How quickly the light and joy of Christmas turns to gray skies and treacherous journeys. As we consider the words of the prophet Isaiah, we remember that even in our struggles, God is still with us. Often, it's on the difficult road that we find the sustenance and grace that strengthens us and brings us to a heightened awareness of the true depths of God's entwinement with our humanity.
In a culture of constant and unrelenting noise, it is often difficult to hear the voice of God. This Sunday, we continue our preparations for a new year by thinking together about the possibility and promise of spiritual direction. God's voice is heard through the pages of scripture, the example, and teachings of Jesus, the attentive conversations within the Christian community and through the gentle force of disciplined prayer. Join us as we reason and worship together on how God continues to lead and speak to us.
This year we are delighted that the traditional date for Epiphany (January 6th) will fall on a Sunday. Throughout Christian history, this date has celebrated the way God's revelation was expanded beyond the Jewish world. Magi from the East were not only attentive to the silent voice of God they heard calling with the star's appearing, but were determined to seek out and follow this light wherever it might lead them. With the beginning of this new year, we seek to learn from their example, to resist earthly definitions of power, all in an effort to sort out God's universal message of liberation and love for all people.
Early Worship will resume on January 6. As we celebrate Epiphany together, we'll consider again the paradoxical nature of the messianic journey of God's son. From the outset, tables are turned, roles are reversed, the powerful are brought low, and the humble and seemingly insignificant are charged with great power. Join us as we gather to contemplate the beautiful irony of God's salvific work in this new year.
As in years past, we will have readers take us through the biblical story of the birth of Jesus; from prophetic musings to the lovely tale of shepherds, wise men, angels, and the baby. Interspersed with these readings will be music provided by the choir and traditional hymns sung by all. This combination of spoken and sung words provides a lovely opportunity to remember and worship. We hope you will make an extra effort to be here and maybe even invite a friend or neighbor to join you.
On December 16, our third Sunday of Advent worship service, will highlight a musical that our children have worked on the last several months. They are presenting a story of Lighty the lightning bug, who hears of Jesus' birth and travels to see him. But Lighty has trouble deciding what gift to take to this newborn baby. As he journeys to Bethlehem, Lighty encounters many other insects who help decide on a gift to take the newborn Messiah. Come and see the talents of our children and the gift that Lighty chooses to give to Jesus.