We have waited and we have prepared and the moment has finally arrived! The Christ child is born and the world has been changed forever. My prayer for you is that you experience the abundant new life that Christ gives throughout the coming year. May God’s peace, love, hope, and grace accompany you as you go about your daily life.
Remember to thank those who set up the altar each week for our worship. They are not always noticed.
This will be my last Sunday with you. My attention has to turn to my ordination and the beginning of my first call. I want to thank you for allowing me to serve you this fall. I have enjoyed getting to know you, and I have learned much from you. May God be with you as you move forward into the future.
It’s already the fourth week of Advent. The waiting is almost over. The Christ child comes into our lives once again. In truth, however, Christ comes into our lives each and every day – we just don’t always recognize him. Perhaps we could resolve to start looking for Christ in the new year.
I am wishing you a Christmas filled with the gifts of joy, love, and peace – the gifts that come from our gracious God – gifts that never break and are always the right size.
My time with you is nearing its end. Christmas Day will be the last worship service that I share with you. After that, my attention will turn to my ordination and my first call in Lubbock. As exciting as that is, there are also a long list of mundane and not-so-fun things to do, like packing boxes. I have enjoyed my time with you as I began to lean into the role of a full-time pastor, and I have learned much. I hope that you have been blessed by my presence here.
Remember that there is still one more Wednesday night soup supper and worship on December 21. Christmas Eve worship will take place on December 24 at 7:00 pm, and on December 25, we will worship at 10:00 as we always do. These are all wonderful opportunities to feel the presence of God in our lives during this holy season. Hope to see you there.
Here is the link to the short Advent Videos SAWL Darlene has been making.
Or, you could use the QR code below, and it too will take you to correct spot on YouTube.
The texts this week deal with uncertainty. Isaiah speaks to a people in exile, people who had imagined a very different future for themselves. The Psalmist extols the strength of God – something that we often need to be reminded of when we find ourselves in times of uncertainty. James gives us some concrete advice for times of waiting, acknowledging our tendency to become impatient and grumbly when we have to wait. The Gospel reminds us that while we may be confident of Jesus’ identity as the Son of God, those of that time were not always so sure – they were trying figure out who this person was that was so different from anyone that they had ever known. Even John the Baptist had to ask – perhaps we can be patient with ourselves in our moments of doubt.
During this season of waiting, continue to support each other in prayer. While it is a busy and joyous season, for some it is a very difficult season. Treat those you encounter with kindness.
On a personal note, one cause of uncertainty in my life has been resolved. This past Sunday, the congregation of Shepherd King Lutheran Church in Lubbock, Texas, voted to call me as their next pastor. Of course, as is so often the case, finding out one piece of the puzzle simply reveals how much more there is that you hadn’t thought about. I will be moving in January, so practical issues like housing and how to get things from one place to another come to the forefront. Prayer for me as I and my husband navigate this transition.
Rest assured that I am with you through Christmas, so we will navigate this holy season together.
-SAWL Darlene Hopkins