|In the December section of my daily Dietrich Bonhoeffer reader, I found this Christmas poem. It is not a “champagne-filled, warm-fuzzy, feel-good” poem. Rather, it is one that stopped me, sobered me up as a Christian and set me to really meditating on the meaning of the birth of Christ, Emmanuel, God With Us.|
“Who will celebrate Christmas correctly?
whoever finally lays down all power,
all honor, all reputation, all vanity,
all arrogance, all individualism
beside the manger.”
This is a call for Christians to make a response to God who came in love to us and asks us to consider a response to God’s act of love in the Christ Child.
This poem doesn’t mean that we must enter the Christmas Season with long faces, responding in dire sacrifice to Christ’s birth. We may rejoice with the angels, with the shepherds who are the metaphor for all people in all walks of life. We may approach the manger with the reverence of the magi in response to the baby king, who is God’s love lying there. We may approach the manger with our customary St. Paul’s generosity, service to others and joyful worship.
Yet, we bear in mind that “laying down…” the many things that weigh us down in sin, and the rejection of all the goodness of God, is the most important response to God’s love a Christian can make.
This is Christmas 2019 and I give thanks for the many generous acts and great gatherings of worship that have come from you, the good people of St. Paul’s. Thank you. I give thanks for the ministry of the Rev. Peggy Schnack whose illness has prevented her from continuing her ministry among us. And I ask for offerings of prayers for her recovery.
I invite you to make a Christmas contribution to St. Paul’s to the glory of God and the work we do together for Christ’s sake and the sake of our neighbor.
For electronic gift https://stpaulsmaine.breezechms.com/give/online And most of all, I invite you to make your response this Season by joining the Body of Christ at St. Paul’s in worship. There is no better way to say, “We love you back, God” than to gather in praise and thanksgiving.
Please keep this Christmas Season schedule handy and do join us to sing, pray and give thanks to God.
In the hope and love of God,
Please invite friends and family to St. Paul’s for Christmas worship.
Christmas Eve Family Holy Eucharist
Tuesday, December 24, 4:00 pm
“Come as you are” Pageant, Eucharist
Come early to find a costume to wear
Christmas Eve Solemn Holy Eucharist
Tuesday, December 24,
7:00 pm Prelude – Special Choral, Instrumental & Organ Music
7:30 pm Candlelight Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist
Christmas Day, Holy Eucharist
Wednesday, December 25, 10:00 am
Holy EucharistFirst Sunday after Christmas
Sunday, December 29,
8:00 am Quiet Eucharist
9:30 am Family Eucharist- No Youth Group or Church School
10:30 am Christmas Lessons & Carols with Holy Eucharist