Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Joy to the world the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King:
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing.
Isaac Watts’ “Joy to the World” eighteenth century hymn continues to reverberate across the world. As I think about the people, places, and times that this hymn has been lifted, I marvel at the ability of the human spirit to triumph over whatever the current circumstances may be. Whether it be world wars or local peace, rumors of wars or hints of prosperity, famine or plenty, recessions or boom times, the word that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem continues to best the best news ever!
Recent months have brought a new uncertainty to many of our minds. I cannot remember moments like these, and yet for some of us this brings to mind memories that we thought had disappeared forever. As we finish this year fraught with ambiguity I remind us that we know that the source of our joy is Jesus Christ. In moments like these it helps to lean back into the everlasting arms of our God and remember that the promises of love, joy, and peace are ours through Jesus.
This month we will have opportunities to celebrate the birth of Christ with our Christmas concerts scheduled on December 13 and 14. Later, our children will have a birthday party for Jesus on Sunday December 21st during the worship celebrations. Finally, on Christmas Eve we will have two worship celebrations: one at 5:00 p.m. will be a kid friendly and adult savvy family celebration, the other will be a “midnight” communion service at 11:00 p.m. Both services will feature the reading of the familiar lessons, the singing of our favorite carols, and the lighting of candles to celebrate the birth of the King!
Prepare your heart this month to receive the Jesus once again. This year and every year the news that Jesus Christ was born is worth shouting from the mountaintops.
Grace and Peace, Allen