Advent Week Four - LOVE

Friday email - December 16, 2022
The birth of Christ is our focus for worship this Sunday. We will consider the beauty of this simple narrative without much embellishment. Worship will include both traditional and contemporary Christmas songs,  and we will light the advent candle for LOVE. Deep meaning and tradition surrounds this season. The global Church has helped the world focus on the birth and advent of Christ dating back to Constantine.

Constantine rose to Roman power in the 4th Century CE. At that time, December 25th was a celebration of the “Unconquered Sun” (Sol Invictus). Constantine appropriated that date in 336 and made it a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Up to that point, history doesn’t reveal early Christian emphasis on the birth of Jesus during any specified season. Christmas as we think of it didn’t become a global emphasis until the 9th century (according to most historical scholars).

Today, Christ-Mass (Christmas) has become a pivotal day among the winter Holy-Days (or holidays). December 25th has been culturally engrained to the point some unaware Christians believe it’s the actual “birthdate celebration” of Jesus. The commercialization of Christ-mass has birthed an entire global industry. If we're not careful, it’s easy to lose the story of Jesus’ birth amid all the modern materialism and tradition.

So here are four things to think about:
  • The birth of Jesus changed the world inexplicably from a political and historical viewpoint.
  • The birth of Jesus became a moment in time that dictates our calendar more than 2,000 years later. 
  • The holy days of winter can be a time of unity for believers.
  • While December 25th isn’t the actual birthday of Jesus, it is a day most of us have off from work because of Christian influence…and we should enjoy it! 

Our tradition is to hold a special Christmas Eve service at 4:30 PM each year. It is a one-hour service intentionally designed to allow families to still gather for Christmas Eve dinner and various traditions. This year’s service will include communion and will serve as our weekend worship service.

When Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, we encourage members to join in person on Christmas Eve and stay home on Sunday. We will have a Christmas Devotional online for anyone to enjoy at any time on Christmas Day (no one will be at the Community Life Center on Sunday, and it will be closed).

In the meantime, this Sunday, December 18th, will be our last Sunday Morning Service of 2022, and we encourage you to come in person and be part of this Christmas-themed service. See you Sunday!
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