December 2019/ January 2020
ln the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
3 The Word was with God in the beginning.
2 Everything came into being through the Word,
and without the Word
nothing came into being.
What came into being
4 through the Word was life,'~'
and the life was the light for all people.
5The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn't extinguish the light.
When l have guests at my house, I always try to have a light on near the bathroom overnight so they can find their way in the dark. l don't want too much light—because if l get up—Idon't want the light to fully wake me up in the middle of the night. But I want my guests to see where the stairs are and where the bathroom is and the light switches if they wake up in darkness. Just a little bit of light, pierces the darkness and makes a way forward.
We have been on a long journey through the Bible chronologically since September. As we journey, we are discovering God's grace and mercy in the Hebrew Scriptures. But as this journey in the Hebrew Scripture continues, my heart longs for Messiah to.come. lt is easy to see the failings of the humans inthe story. It looks dark often. Often times, our eyes are on our own pain, our own problems or the problems of our community and nation. Darkness can seem overwhelming But Isaiah promises that the people who dwelt in darkness will see a great light.
So we are going take a break from The Story and ourjourney through Scripture chronologically. We are going to turn on the light of Advent as we make our way to Christmas. We will remember the Light of Christ still shines and no matter how dark our life or our world seems, the darkness cannot extinguish the Light. Our advent series will focus on Joy since this year is the 300"‘ anniversary of the writing of ”Joy to the World."
On December 15 at 4 pm, St. Thomas Episcopal church will host the Lessons and Carol service as we carry the Light of the season to Christmas as we remember the story of God and humanity from Creation to Christmas.
Centenary UMC will host the Longest Night Service on December 21 at 7 pm. This service is for all who have experienced grief—no matter if it is the loss of a loved one, loss of ability, loss of the way life has been. We will look for a glimmer of light in the midst of our grief to carry us to Christmas.
Through Advent we will be asking you to choose your favorite Christmas song (just one). On Sunday December 29th we will have one worship service at 10 AM which will be Centenary's Top 10 Christmas hymn countdown.
We will resume The Story in the first week oflanuary where we left off with the story of Solomon.
This Christmas and into the New Year, I pray you will find the Light of Christ shining around you in people you meet and in your devotional time and in worship. l also pray you will find many opportunities to let the Light of Christ shine through you to others.
May you have a blessed Christmas and happy New Year.