Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

December 22, 2021

December 22, 2021

Dear Friends,

The celebration of the anniversary of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem is almost here!  In fact, depending on how you receive this newsletter, you might get this newsletter after December 25th (as we continue to pray for our Postal Service and the Postal workers!).  If you get this before Christmas, I’d like to ask a favor.  Please make time in the schedule of whatever you have planned for Christmas Day to stop and to read some portion of the story from Scripture (or from a Children’s Bible if your plans include small people).  I’d suggest reading either Matthew 1:18 – 2:12 or Luke 2:1-20.  And then, please spend just a few minutes thinking and/or talking about what difference it makes to you that the God who created all that exists came to earth in human form.  What does it mean that God knows what it feels like to be human – the good and the bad of that? What does it mean that God is not some absent, demanding landlord or uninvolved and vague presence?

I hope that if you are lighting the Advent Wreath in your home that you will keep on lighting it (light the candles for every meal until you run out of candle!) through till January 9th!  That is the end of the Christmas season.  Don’t let the retailers tell us that Christmas is over on December 25th.  Traditionally, the celebration of Epiphany (twelve days after Christmas Day) was when the wise men from the east found their way to Bethlehem.  It helps us remember that knowing and honoring God is a journey and a process that takes time, instead of an event to be celebrated and then filed away under the “items completed” list.

On Sunday, December 26th, when many will be sleeping, we will be gathering for worship of this newborn King!  Worship will be at 10am, and I encourage you to come dressed in your comfortable, casual clothes.  I will not be in a robe.  There will not be Sunday Faith Formation, nor will there be an infant nursery, but everyone who comes – of all ages – are welcome in the sanctuary for a brief, informal worship.  We will begin by inviting those who come to request their favorite Christmas carols and then we will think together about what it means today for Jesus to have been born in Bethlehem so long ago.  Like the shepherds, we are the people who are willing to get up and travel to “see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” (Luke 2:15b) Join us at 10am – in person or livestream – on Sunday, December 26th.

May your Christmas be holy and filled with the assurance of God’s presence.

Ellen

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