Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Eve

WE have 2 services this year.  One at 5:30 and one at 7:00.

At the 5:30 service we will tell the Christmas story, we will sing some carols, we will light some candles.  And we will also have a different Christmas story A Special Place for Santa, followed by a special activity based on the story.

At 7:00 we will also sing carols, we will also light candles (at the beginning and at the end of the service), we will also hear and reflect on the story.

The Scripture Readings for this service will be:
  • Luke 1:26-38
  • Luke 2:1-20

The Reflection will be in 3 sections.
After the first Scripture reading we will hear about Mary's fear.
After the second Scripture Reading we will hear about the Shepherd's fear.
Both Mary and the shepherd are visited by an angel.  And in both cases the angel starts out by saying "Don't Be Afraid".  SO we need to ask what they might have been afraid of (other than an angel appearing and talking to you which would be a little off-putting in and of itself).

The 3rd section of the reflection is called Fear and Change Today.
The Christmas story is all about chagne.  The promise of Christmas is that God breaks into the world, God comes to be among us, in order to change the world.  This is encapsulated in my favourite of the magazine ads developed for the United Church of Canada Emerging Spirit campaign:
And yet change it truly terrifying for many of us, particularly when we can not control the change.  SO we need to hear again the words of the angel.  Don't be afraid. 

God IS breaking into the world again this Christmas.  God has hope for the world, hope that things will (some day in the near or distant future) get better.  GOd is among us, coming as a weak and dependent child--with all the potential that childhood suggests, coming to spur us forward, coming so that the world will be changed.  Do not be afraid!  This is good news for all people.  Hope will overcome despair, justice and peace will overcome inequity and violence, love will overcome fear and hate, joy will come even to the wilderness.

For unto US a child is born.  And unto US a child is given. 

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