The United Methodist Church of Enfield
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.
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December 2017

COME THOU LONG EXPECTED JESUS! Isn’t this what the season is all about, a time for us to be patiently waiting and preparing our hearts and souls? Yet in the busy world that we live in patiently waiting has a different meaning, especially from Black Friday on. We wait in lines doing our shopping, wait in mall traffic, wait to decorate the house, and we wait for all the parties.

Let’s not forget the Christmas cards that need to be written, the cookies that need to be baked, or the travel plans that need to be made. Let’s not forget the special Christmas Eve services that take place and all of these things are accomplished in order to prepare for Christmas Day – a time when Santa comes and delivers gifts to all the good little boys and girls, right? In our buy, buy, buy consumer society, quite often that's the focus of this time of year – buying and receiving gifts.

As followers of Christ, there is a different focus for us – it's the little baby, the infant who is born in a manger in Bethlehem. The advent season is supposed to draw us closer to God by our remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth – God’s Son – the Word made flesh. That is why we sing a Christmas carol, that is why we decorate our houses, that is why we gather with friends and family, that is why special services happen at church, and that is why special foods are made. It's all intended to make this time special and set apart. While it is good to make all these preparations, we must never lose sight of the infant we are preparing to receive during this time.

Adam Hamilton reminds us in his book “Not a Silent Night”: “The Christ Child changes everyone's lives. As a matter of fact, the whole world is affected by his birth. God the Father poured out his love for us by sending his one and only son into the world – to save creation. That's a wonderful reality for us to celebrate each and every day and not simply during the month of December.

Merry Christmas!