What a joy it is to prepare for the coming of God this time of year! A joy this year because for the first time I get to share it with both the good people of Christ Church Ashton and St. Paul’s Kanata!
But as much of a joy as that is, it is more important that we share that gift with the world. The former Archbishop of Canterbury once said, “Christmas is the Christian’s Christmas present to everybody else. Christmas, for a Christian tells us why people matter. They matter because God took us seriously, seriously enough to get involved with our lives to suffer with us and change things. That’s what I believe, that’s what Christians believe and Christmas exists because of that belief. You may or may not believe that; you may think people matter for other reasons, but never mind; that’s what we’re saying and that’s our present, that’s our gift to the rest of the world.”
In part, we, like Jesus, have to be the “gift” of love. We need to spend less time at the shopping mall and more time with family (biological and faith). One preacher says it a time to lower the adult voice and listen more to our children, cutting down on outside commitments and being at home and church more in care and prayer.
The church family at Christ Church are collecting hats, mittens and scarves as well as food items for those in need. The church family at St. Paul’s are collecting food for the foodbank and fundraising for the local hospice, gathering items for the local shelters and as of this week have just begun welcoming gifts for the Syrian Refugees. We are also preparing our hearts during advent to welcome Jesus and His love more fully into our lives. “The mysteries of the manger and the Birth, the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension and the continuing presence of Christ on earth, in general, point to love. The hymn of the angels chanted during the Nativity service, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace, good will among men” (Luke 2: 14) is an expression of the admiration angels felt when they realized the inconceivable love of God… All God’s actions are filled with love for every single person.”
Let us, then, as beloved children turn away from “stuff” of Christmas; let us return to Jesus Christ who came to our world out of love. His love for us is a fact. In His presence there is no fear only forgiveness, peace and joy.
May the grace, blessing and abundant mercy of God be with you during the Advent and Christmas seasons and always!
A Blessed Christmas,Craig+
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