At the center of the Church’s celebration of Christmas is the expectation that the Christ-child who once came will come again. Think about it. Don’t we pray for Christmas to come every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer?—“Thy kingdom come.” As the world was given hope some two thousand years ago because of Jesus, the final hope that we have is that this same Jesus will be the one bringing “peace on earth, good will to men” again.
At the end of the season of Pentecost (Christ the king Sunday, this past Nov. 26th), we were given clear guidance as to how to live like it’s Christmas EVERY day. The parable that Jesus told his disciples (our gospel reading on this day, Matt. 25:31-46)) shows us what it means to be living as a people who know that Christmas will come again. In this gospel reading, Jesus speaks of the sheep who are to be invited into the kingdom as the ones who each day took care of the people around them: fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited those in prison, etc.
The wonderful part of this famous reading from Matthew is that the sheep seem to be so captured by living kindness, that they are fully unaware that when they have served the “least”, that they have served their Christ. So, if Jesus can be welcomed and served every day, then every day is a Christmas Day!
I look ahead at Beaver Valley’s busy December. On the calendar are countless activities and services that seek to lift up the Advent teachings of waiting and watching and preparing in the middle of a world that seeks to steel our time and attention.
How do we know if we are really getting ready for Christmas? If our efforts have to do with gifting to and caring for others, that is how we live like Christmas is coming every day!
Please read carefully the December Highlights. Your will see that our prayerful intention is to be a community of faith that: makes fudge for prisoners, delivers toiletries and food to shelters; gives gift cards for food to hungry families; teaches our children the songs of Christmas; goes to the Saint Francis House to serve a Christmas dinner to those who don’t always get a meal; opens the doors to any and all seeking to light a candle and receive the Christ-child whom we serve daily, and will once day fully receive again.
Pastor Greg Johnson