Galatians 4 contains the Apostle Paul’s Christmas story, where he speaks of time in its fullness when Jesus is born of Mary, born under Moses’ Law, to buy us out of sin’s slavery through His death on the Cross. Time was full, filled with meaning. Bringing redemption to believing mankind.
Tomorrow begins the Advent season. The last church Sue and I served had a fullness to that time. Today, I’d like to celebrate what that meant to us and who made it special. Precious church members, friends all, who fashioned this month full of love and joy, light and worship. You may not know any of these people, but hopefully you have your own who form life full and good.
It all begins with Ruth and Tinker dragging out the large artificial Christmas tree (we always ask to help; and sometimes, though not often, they’d accept!), assembling it in the chancel area. Multiple ornaments, inscribed with the names of past church family, are hung on the tree. Good to remember those saints we loved, now with our Lord Jesus. Like Etta Good, John Barnes, Cathy Brown, Cecil Herrington to name but a few.
Byron and Gloria would come a few days later, hanging two large wreathes on the back walls of the sanctuary. Then they’d string and twist strands of multi-colored lights on the choir railing in addition to the pulpit.
Christmas banners, created by my wife Sue, are hung on side walls, telling the story of Jesus, the holy couple and the Magi. A large stand can be found near the organ for lighting candles each Advent Sunday, and then all of them on Christmas Eve. Every week a different church family would light the appropriate candles and read a portion of the Christmas story from the Bible.
Roberta rehearses the choir for our annual Christmas cantata. We log in at about 18 singers of varied skill and enthusiasm. Not bad considering our church attendance is usually around 50. We joke that there won’t be enough out there to hear us! Maybe that’s not a so bad after all!
Lights…candles…singing…Scripture…God’s precious people. All achieve a full season. And then comes the finale on Christmas Eve. Some years my wife places luminaries on the walkway up to the church’s front door. Paper bags filled with stabilizing sand and a lit candle lighting the way.
We celebrate Jesus, the Light of the World. Often Christmas Eve overflows with family and friends. Special music groups from other churches, which have no Christmas Eve service, come and bless us all. No monetary offering this night. Just joy in the Lord. To thank Him for the gift of His Son Jesus.
These are some of my reflections out of my time. What are yours? Thank the Lord for all who make your life as full as it is. By the way, I’m grateful for you!
Thank you for Jesus in all His fullness. Amen.
What wonderful memories of your ministry that blessed so many people. A blessed Advent to you and Sue and your families.