Happening Now Blog

Friday, December 26, 2014

Pastor's Wednesday Messages

from Pastor Brian

I remember the day my baby sister came home from the hospital.  She was so small!  Now I had my very own sister!  She was the best gift ever in all my four and a half years.  I was the first-born, so when my parents said I was going to have a sister, I was really excited!  Just about every day I asked when my sister was coming home.  My parents kept telling me to be patient.  I felt frantic to see her, but somehow I managed to wait.  The day she arrived, I felt such a strong sense of fulfillment.  My parents promised she'd come; now I could see her, touch her, hear her (and, I quickly discovered, smell her, too!).  Wonder, awe, happiness; curiosity about her, and about how our family would be now that she'd arrived; satisfaction that my parents kept their promise: all these feelings and more bubbled up and swept me away in those first few days when baby sister came to be part of our family. 

During my childhood, waiting for baby Jesus to be born at Christmas felt familiar.  It was like waiting for my baby sister to come home.  I felt the same eager anticipation.  When Christmas finally came, and Jesus was placed in the manger, all was well.  Wonder, awe, curiosity, satisfaction: the celebration of Jesus' birth brought tidings of comfort and joy, just as the old carol proclaims.

Kids seem naturally open to the holy magic that comes with the birth of Jesus.  I have to work harder at getting it now, knowing, as I do, the brokenness of the world.  I read the Christmas stories from Luke's gospel and Matthew's over and over.  I meditate on the mystery of God showing up in human form.  I wonder if I'll ever really understand.  But celebrating the birth of Jesus still evokes deep trust that the world can be healed, that God's promise will be kept, whether I understand or not.  May God give you such trust, too, as you get ready to welcome Jesus home.

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From Pastor Randy

"O come let us sing to the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!  Let us come into his presence with Thanksgiving, let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!"       Psalm 95:1

          Those words come to life under the roof of the space that houses at times, the community of faith known as SOV.  I know that not everyone was able to be there and this is not to castigate those who were not present.  We were out of space as it was and were SRO (standing room only).  The time began with the children's program.  The kids told the age old Christmas story for us again, with many clear voices and the usual amount of bustle, including small angels, twirling about a bit.  Some of the shepherds were very interested in the wise men's offerings.  But none of those things could bring the amazing story to an end, while in reality some disruptions were to be expected and just added to the adventure a bit.  After that there was singing and such grand singing there was, mostly songs of Christmas and we ended with an uproarious version of Go Tell it on the Mountain.  By the end we carried on as if we meant to do that very thing.  Louder and louder, everyone standing and literally dancing for the joy of the song and the moment so much so, that even when we finished a murmur continued and there was no settling down immediately, because a small sliver of what roused those shepherds so many years ago was still in the air.  So that's what a "joyful" noise is.  Thanks for the gift of song Lord!

In praise of the rock of our salvation,

Pastor Randy

Sunday, December 28th
One Worship
10:00 am

followed by New Years Brunch

Merry Christmas!