There are many stories associated with the celebration of Christmas; but for Christians the Star of the Christmas Story, the greatest love story ever told, is God’s son, Jesus the Christ. Christmas is not about an evening or a day; it is indeed a season of joyful anticipation and preparation of our hearts and minds to accept God’s love, embodied in a tiny babe, a curious child and a man for whom and in whom all things are possible.
The symbolism of each Advent candle reminds us of the contribution of the many people, who though not the Star of the Story, brought messages; Simeon’s Hope, the Shepherds’ Peace, Mary’s Joy and Joseph’s Love. Even as a baby, Jesus invited believers to “fear not”. Each of these faithful people overcame human fears to make room for God’s promise of enduring love for all of human-kind.
Advent 2023 holds an opportunity for a person, a couple, or a family to light an Advent Candle and “tell a personal story”, which reflects their recognition of Christmas’ Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. These were the gifts of the First Christmas, which have endured, through the centuries, to our celebration of Christmas in 2023. Did you recognize “the gift”, given to you, immediately or belatedly? Was the message in “the gift” loud and clear or muted? Has your understanding of “the gift” changed over time?
We invite you to share your “story” with faithful people, who may indeed find Advent and Christmas blessings of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love embodied in the biblical stories and in yours. If you feel the Spirit moving you to share your “story” with the congregation as you light the advent candle, please see or contact Joyce Checksfield [(845)701-7975 ]; or let the office know.