Sunday, December 3, 2017

“But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.” ~ Luke 1:13-14.
We got an early start on the Christmas Season as 15 of us from PPC went caroling throughout downtown Prineville recently. We did this as part of the Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Saturday promotion.
As we sang, I couldn’t help but notice the contrast between the rich language of the carols and the “raw” sounds of downtown, especially the very loud diesel pickup trucks that roared past us. Amplified by the concrete and glass and asphalt, those trucks’ exhaust sounds drowned out our voices – briefly.

Because we kept right on singing about hope and joy and peace and love.
These are the themes we talk about and reflect upon throughout this season of Advent. Advent is a time to recall the coming of Christ that leads into celebrating the birth of the Christ-child on Christmas Day.

In looking around us today there are lots of forces working to drown out these themes. It’s not so different from Jesus’ birth two thousand years ago. The world then was also desperate to know hope and joy and peace and love.
So too was Elizabeth. She and her husband Zechariah had been childless, and as she grew older day by day, day by day her hopes of having a long-sought child were being drowned out.

Yet she remained steadfast in her faith; “righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord.”

At the end of her long season of waiting she gave birth; she would realize her hopes and joy and peace and love through the birth of her child John.

And it’s John who “leaped for joy” while still in Elizabeth’s womb as he recognized the long awaited hope and joy and peace and love coming as Jesus Christ was being carried in Mary’s womb.

This Advent may we remain steadfast in singing and thinking and meditating about hope and joy and peace and love that we celebrate in the birth of the Christ-child.
These are the gifts the Christ-child brings for us – gifts that nothing can drown out.

We gather every Sunday at 10AM, and we celebrate Christ's birth Christmas Eve at 5PM

Together We Serve,
Pastor Mike

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