The Fourth Sunday of Advent – Alexandra Mead
Reading: Matthew 1:18-25
“God is with us.” This line from Matthew 1 is the essence of what coming home for Christmas meant to me during my college years. The creche would be set up in its usual place, the Christmas music would be set up on the piano, the count down to the Christmas Eve services would be on. I felt God with us as we prepared for Christmas but never more so than when we entered the Sanctuary on December 24.
I asked my children about their memories of coming home to church at Christmas…
“My favorite part of Christmas at church was staying up late with my mom to go to the Christmas Eve service. It was by candlelight, and we would ring in Christmas Day while singing Joy to the World. It is still my favorite part because it is a peaceful calm moment that transitions into the celebration of the birth of Jesus.”
“I always look forward to being home for Christmas with my family, knowing that we will all be together at church on Christmas Eve. Not just my family, but growing up in the church, I have had the privilege of becoming very close to those in our congregation. This congregation has helped me to have a strong faith and love for the church.”
“Coming home for Christmas always includes the Christmas Eve services at church. I am surrounded by the community that I grew up with – I always feel lots of love when I am there, the true spirit of Christmas.”
Take time this week to breathe. Look at the Christmas lights as you drive through town. Watch a favorite Christmas movie, enjoy a favorite treat. Take a walk and notice the festive red berries on a holly bush. Enjoy these final days before we meet at church on Christmas Eve.
Midweek Reading and Prayer
Lord, restore us with your love. May we enter each day filled with hope, remembering the gift you have given us with the birth of your son. Comfort those who grieve, lift up those who stumble. Fill us with the Holy Spirit to know you are always with us. We pray these words in Jesus’ name. Amen.