Christmas can be stressful. Christmas can be expensive. Christmas can bring us into contact with relatives we’d rather not see. In the midst of all the busyness of the season we often find ourselves missing Christmas. Over the four weeks of Advent we will look at two people who missed Christmas and two who (almost) missed it. What we learn from their stories might help us not to miss it this year either.
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
Theme: Joseph learns the disappointing news that his fiancé has been unfaithful (so he thinks). He decides to quietly break off the engagement rather than to bring on public shame and ridicule. How often are we motivated by what other people think? What would have happened is Joseph had actually gone through with it? Would he have missed the gift of Jesus? (and what do we miss by worrying about what other might say)?
Scripture: Luke 2:1-7
Title: The Innkeeper
Theme: The innkeeper tells Mary and Joseph that there’s no room for them to stay. How do you tell a woman in labor to go away? Even if they were strangers, wouldn’t we expect the innkeeper to make room in such a situation? But what if they weren’t strangers at all? What if the innkeeper knew Mary and Joseph and the rumors of their “less than perfect” marriage? His judgmental heart leaves no room for compassion, and he misses the one who came to make room for all.
December 15 (Choir Program in Traditions)
Scripture: Luke 2:8-20
Title: The Shepherds
Theme: What would you do if in the middle of your work day, the heavens opened and a glowing person suddenly appeared before you? I’d be more than terrified, I’d pass out. The shepherds are afraid, so much so that before the angel can say anything else, he has to calm them down. We could understand if they didn’t believe the angels. But they don’t allow their fear to hold them back. They take the risk to leave their flocks and go looking for the child. They leave their sheep in search of the one who will grow up and teach that God will do the same for each one of us.
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
Theme: Herod has it all: a crown, a palace, an army (and massive insecurity). He sees everyone as a potential threat. He’s begged, borrowed, and stolen his way to the throne; which is why when three mysterious visitors from the east come to worship the new king, Herod is not pleased. He does what he has always done: manipulate others. But what he finds out is the one thing he can’t control is God (even in the form of a little baby).
Christmas Eve Services
Christmas Carol Sing