Merry Christmas and we light the final two Advent Candles or the last Advent Candle and the Christ or Christmas Candle! Whichever way you wish to look at it, it is a time of celebration but also reverence – a celebration of God’s presence in and with the world and reverence that the symbol of that presence is the birth of a baby.
We use this time as a moment to gather in worship but also in the community. Families, friends, colleagues join to share fellowship; perhaps exchange gifts, and (this being Wisconsin) share food and drink! As we share in the feasts and festivities, let us accept the vulnerabilities and nurture which faith exhibits and requires. It is vulnerable in so many ways when we seek to make it concrete, tie it to some historical event. It gains meaning and hope when embraced as a living, growing, changing presence that enables us to find in life meaning, hope, joy, pleasure, work for justice, and peace. And it requires nurture for to discover those things means it must remain relevant, related to us in our time, our place and lived out in the moment. As a baby whose growth each day is celebrated and embraced, whose nurture is accepted and assured, may we find in this season the courage and the hope to live out a faith in a God whose presence continues to call us and embrace us.
May this be a season to make merry and revel in the joy, hope, pleasure, justice, and peace found when we truly keep Christ in Christmas.
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE PEOPLE OF PEACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, BRILLION, WISCONSIN!”