Making Christmas, making Christmas is so fine!

Everyone and every holiday has its own traditions. It’s the week of Thanksgiving and I’m grateful for the sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and stuffing that is a part of my mom’s way of celebrating as well as the burgers and pies we have with my in-laws.

This Sunday we begin the season of Advent, a word we use mostly at church, that means the beginning of an event or the arrival of a person. Every year in this season, we remember the first coming of Christ – the birth of Jesus all those years ago in Bethlehem. Some years, we also look forward during the season of Advent, awaiting the second coming of Christ, when God comes in final victory. But like Ricky Bobby, I tend to like the Christmas baby Jesus best.

When Andy and I got married, my mom handed me a shoebox that contained all the ornaments I had made as a child. For a couple of recent college graduates who were blessed with lots of hand-me-downs from our families, including our first Christmas tree, it was meaningful to trim our tree with those memories. And as our children have made their own ornaments to add, we all get a kick out of seeing the little popsicle stick sled I made when I was a 5yo. Besides decorating a Christmas tree, we usually put a couple of inflatables in the yard (easier and faster than Christmas lights), a few nativities around the house, and stockings hung by the chimney with care.

This Sunday we’ll have the opportunity to decorate our church home during our hanging of the greens. Evergreens during Advent and Christmas are a symbol of the eternal coming to dwell among us as the Word became flesh. They are also a sign of life and growth overcoming and flourishing in the midst of the dead of winter. We’ll gather to deck the halls, sip some cider or cocoa, and enjoy time together.

In other news, I want to share that Marcus Avitia, who has most recently been helping us with communications, has transitioned to serving with children and youth! He’ll provide valuable support in building relationships with students and their families. I’m delighted to have his help in this area and I hope you will offer your words of support and your prayers as he takes on this new adventure.

We have another great Sunday ahead of us and I look forward to seeing you there. I’m praying for you. I hope you’re praying for me.

Pastor Jessica.