Christmas greetings from Rev. Sharon
The wait is almost over!
The last hours of Advent and holiday preparations are slipping away. Some of us may already have the decorations hung and the presents wrapped. Many of us may still be rushing around making last-minute purchases, trimming the tree or baking Christmas cookies.
Wherever you are in your preparations, I urge you to pause for a few moments to appreciate the season and remember the joy of the Christmas miracle that underlies it: that somehow, against all logic, the creator of the universe loved us enough to come to earth to experience and share life on earth as a human being.
Take time to worship with us, whether in person or via Zoom on Christmas Eve or in person on Christmas Day. We’ll sing familiar carols, listen to stories, share holy food and enjoy each other’s company as we give thanks and celebrate the feast of Jesus’ incarnation.
O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant! Come and behold him, born the king of angels! Come let us adore him, Christ the Lord!
Wishing all a merry and blessed Christmas! Our service times are listed below.
CHRISTMAS AND EPIPHANY SERVICES
Some days we may answer with an enthusiastic “yes,” but other days we feel less certain. Like the father who brings his sick child to Jesus for healing in the Gospel of Mark, we may cry, “I believe; help my unbelief.”
Faith development doesn’t just happen in Sunday school or stop after confirmation. It is a lifelong endeavor. As we age and mature, new knowledge and experiences inform, challenge and strengthen our faith.
For the past two years, some members of St. John’s have explored their faith with other Christians and those interested in learning more about Christianity in a program called “Got Faith,” co-sponsored by St. John’s, St. Peter’s in Mountain Lakes and Church of the Saviour in Denville.
On Wednesday, December 14, at 7 p.m., St. John’s will host the Got Faith program. We’ll gather for the Liturgy of the Word (the first part of Holy Eucharist) and have an opportunity to offer our personal reflections on the evening’s readings.
No preregistration or prerequisites are required, just a desire to gather with others to explore our faith. I hope you will join us!
A message from Rev. Sharon
Where am I going? What am I doing?
These sound like great, existential questions. Unfortunately, as we reach middle age and beyond, they all too often are very practical questions. How often do we walk into a room only to forget why we went there!
In our busy lives, it’s easy to forget things – including to pray, or to spend time in reflection during this season of Advent as we anticipate the glorious celebration of God’s incarnation in Jesus at Christmas.
Advent calendars are one tool people use to count down the days to Christmas – often with the bonus of a daily piece of chocolate or other treat. Online Advent calendars provide short daily messages to help us along our spiritual journey.
Here are some websites where you can sign up to receive a daily e-mailed Advent message to help you remember to observe this holy season of waiting. (And there’s nothing wrong with buying one of those chocolate-filled ones, for a sweet reminder of the season’s joys as well!).
https://adventword.org/en/home/ (daily meditations)
https://afedj.org/resources/advent/ (inspirational messages from the Holy Land)
https://gdcrecordings.com/musical-advent-calendar-sign-up/ (musical Advent calendar)
You also can visit this site for a daily Advent meditation with musical selections: https://soundboard.giamusic.com/audiocalendar-advent/
Articles are posted by the Communication team, Rev. Sharon and others.