In this week’s First Words I mentioned the late Wright Spears’ frequent saying, “Peak to peak. We go from peak to peak.” There I listed the last peak as the Sunday afternoon Festival of Carols, that involved some 125 church members in many and various musical expressions of the season.
And now we have another peak to celebrate. Over 500 people filled the sanctuary on Wednesday evening for a program of traditional mountain music with legend David Holt and his young friend Josh Goforth. What an enjoyable evening! We heard instruments from guitars and mandolin to stump fiddle, washboard and paper bag! We saw pictures of and heard stories about David’s 100+ year old friends and what he’s learned from them. Everyone left with a smile on their face, including David, who told me, “What a wonderful audience!” I find myself already looking forward to the next event our Community Arts group will bring to us.
And now the wait is over. At least for Star Wars fans. How long has it been since the last one? What great anticipation there has been for this one. When all the numbers are in, this movie may break all the records.
But our waiting is not quite over in worship. This Sunday is the 4th—and last—Sunday in Advent. We’ll be alert once again to our theme “Making Space,” and we’ll move ever closer to the full celebration of Christmas…but we’re not quite there yet. Just as the Star Wars fans had to wait, we wait a bit longer, wait with anticipation of what is to come, wait with prayer and hopefulness, wait by “making space” for Christ in our lives.
We’ll hear the story of Mary’s journey to see her cousin Elizabeth after learning that the two of them would bear children. What joy for an older woman who will finally give birth after so many years of longing. And what might we say about Mary’s frame of mind? Hint: she ends up singing…but it’s certainly no lullaby!
Thisyear’s Service of Remembrance will be Sunday afternoon at 4:00 in the sanctuary. If you find it difficult to be cheerful this Christmas, maybe because you’ve lost a loved one this year, or still grieve the loss of a previous year, this service is for you. Christmas is difficult for some, and we’ll have a quiet, reflective service. I’ll reflect a bit on Lamentations 3 and attempt to give some words of comfort and hope.
Then, next Thursday is Christmas Eve. See the schedule elsewhere, but if you’re in town try to join us in one of the 4 opportunities. All are different, but all include holy communion, to which, of course, everyone is invited in our church. So invite a friend who is not in church.
May you and yours know the joy and peace of the Christ Child in this holy season.