Dear Saints of Zion,
"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" Our Staunton Community Christmas Choir is singing the song bearing that title at our upcoming Christmas concert on Sunday, December 9 at 3pm over at St. Paul's (the little round church). Ok, that's a plug for attending the concert, I know. But Iím working towards plugging something else actually!
For Christians, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Weíre entering into an incredibly joyous time in the Church. As we step back into the festival half of the church year once again, we step back on the trail of following the life of Christ. In December and January we stroll through the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. The fourth stanza of O Lord, How Shall I Meet You captures the tone of these seasons:
Your thirst for my salvation Procured my liberty.
Oh, love beyond all telling, That led You to embrace
In love, all love excelling, Our lost and fallen race. (LSB 334:4)
This holy season is about the God of all creation coming down in love in the person of Jesus, in human flesh, for ALL humanity. Godís people pray for Him to rend the heavens and come down. It happened ever so still and quietly at the manger in Bethlehem. It will happen much more loudly and gloriously on the Last Day when Christ returns. But even now, Christ comes down among us in another fleshly way, in Word and Sacrament. Itís the same Jesus, coming down in love, Godís love that embraces sinners.
I said earlier that I was making another plug, and I am. Advent ushers in a new church year. Plug into the love of God, into the life of Christ in the many opportunities for worship during this holy season. Repent and receive with joy Godís love anew as we celebrate His coming among us in the flesh. Itís the most wonderful time of the year! See you in the Lordís house this holiday season!