A Message from Ellen
December 8, 2021
December 21st is the winter solstice, the shortest day, and the longest night of the year. And this year, I want to encourage you to think of those around you who are experiencing darkness and figure out a small way to bring light into their lives.
John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.” (Common English Bible Translation) John is talking about the advent of Jesus Christ into the world. And we believe that God’s presence is both light and life for us and for the whole world. So, I encourage you to think of December 21st as John 1:5 Day! Do something to dispel someone’s darkness on that day, or during that week. You might send a card to someone that you know has had a hard year. You could leave a single flower for someone who is grieving with the scripture attached. Your family could take sidewalk chalk and write words of encouragement outside of an emergency room, a police or fire station, or other service providers. Gather a few friends and hold a “prayer flash mob”, praying for a specific person and surrounding them with love. Our Stephen Ministers are creating a Prayer Wall on which the congregation will be invited to write their prayer requests. Be creative and take the challenge to bring light into the darkness of the world.
In our worship on Sunday, December 19th, we will be focusing on Love and Light. You are invited to worship at either 10am and/or the 5pm on December 19th. Remember that the 5pm Advent Worship Service will be outside in the Rockbridge Parking Lot and will combine fire pits, s’mores, and hot chocolate with worship! There will be a special John 1:5 craft opportunity for children during Sunday morning Faith Formation classes and before the 5pm Worship Service. And the names of the members of our faith community who have died in this last year will be printed in the worship bulletin on December 19th. It might be that you will choose to do something for those families who are grieving the death of a loved one.
In all that we do, those who follow Jesus are to be good news to the world. The Angels told the shepherds that they appeared in the sky over Bethlehem to bring wonderful, joyous news for all people! They told the shepherds that the savior had just been born, and then there was an angel party in the sky, and everyone praised God!
There is much darkness, grief, hate, anger, and frustration in our world. So, on (or around) December 21st, do what you can to bring light, comfort, love, reconciliation, and patience to the world that God has made, loves, and will redeem! We want to be part of God’s solution.
Please help us celebrate December 21st as John 1:5 Day! And if it spills over into the other days of the year . . . . . well . . . . that is just plain GREAT NEWS!
Holy Advent to you all!
Ellen Fowler Skidmore