If I had to pick one symbol of Christmas at St. Luke’s for the year 2018, it would be this photo of our Mitten Tree. Abundant. Weightedwith generosity. Overflowing.
Our blessings increase week by week in this parish – in the steady stream of people coming to visit and staying to share, in the care extended to one another in community prayer, in a renewed spirit of hope like light filling up darkened spaces, in the expectation that new things are growing in our midst.
We come to the creche confident that we are again at a new beginning – one that promises the chance to work anew for the spread of the Kingdom of God, a work that begins among us and extends to the community around us.
This Sunday, the Fourth in Advent, we will recall Mary’s willingness to have God born in her as the vessel for salvation, but we also rejoice in knowing that the indwelling of the Holy happens in us as well as we become vehicles of grace by extending the love we have found in Christ Jesus with all whom we meet.
And it shows up in mittens. And prayer, and hands and words of warm welcome, and an increased hunger to give for the love of the One from whom we have received so much.
Join us for a Festive celebration of Holy Eucharist on Christmas Eve at 5:00 pm (we’ll actually start singing carols about 4:30!). Our celebration on Christmas Day will begin at 10:00 am.
And because Christmas is a beginning, and not an end, we’ll also gather on Wednesday the 26th at 6:30 for our celebration of the Feast of St. Stephen. We may even do a little Wenceslas-ing.
In Great Britain, the day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day. Even though it sounds pugilistic, it was actually a day when the “poor boxes” in churches were opened and the offerings distributed to the needy. It was also, by custom, the day when servants (having served their employer’s families on Christmas day), had the day off and spent it with their own families. In observation of this old custom, the Parish Office will be closed Wednesday the 26th.
As it stands now (although we do, in fact, live in an uncertain world), my last day at St. Luke’s will be Sunday, December 30. I hopeto see many of you on that day for our celebration of an Interim period well used. Jane and I will be leaving the following week for a cruise with our youngest daughter to places warm and (hopefully) sunny.
In the weeks that follow, the parish will be served by supply clergy from the Diocese.
Our next Community Taize Gathering will be Sunday evening, January 6 at 6:30 pm (the Twelfth Day of Christmas!). Come for 45 minutes of stillness, song, sacred words and silence. Because this falls on the Feast of the Epiphany, themes of seeking, finding, loving, and giving will be woven throughout the evening.