Pastoral Letter: December

Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.

Mark 13:33

A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Isaiah 40:3

As we enter the season of Advent we are very aware of the two words: Be aware and Prepare.

WIth a global pandemic we are very aware that we are waiting and watching: For the latest numbers of infection rates, for our loved ones, for a vaccine, for an end to our suffering. We are always prparing for our safety by washing our hands, practicing physical distancing, wearing facial coverings, and limiting exposure to other people.

This Advent season in the church w are preparing for God to come again: waiting, watching, and preparing.

God was born as a baby – a vulnerable child. And, we are reminded by Matthew 25 that the face of Jesus is especially to be found in the vulnerable immigrant, the prisoner, the homeless person, the hungry child at home from school.

It’s disconcerting. We think that God comes as the powerful One. No, God comes in the disenfranchised, in the unlikable, in the people that society wants to ignore, in the reminders that we are not yet a just community.

If you want to be prepared for God, seek God in those who are vulnerable, listen to them, walk beside them as they seek dignity and life. We discover the power of God when we work together to build the beloved community, preparing a way that is level for all and safe.

I am also waiting and watching for God in your faces. We are trying a new way of worship on Sunday mornings at 10:30 during Advent and for Christmas Eve at 6:30 pm. We will gather in Zoom to share the worship service, to greet each other in live worship, to share our joys and concerns. And, when we do hear each other’s voices on our phones or turn on our cameras, we will hear God and see God in the voices and faces through St. John’s United Church of Christ.

As you wait, watch, and prepare in this season of Advent, may your life be filled with the hope, pease, joy and love of God as known through Jesus, the Christ!

Grace and Peace,
Paul

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