Dear St Matthew’s Family,

The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”

The good news the angels brought to the shepherds of old is still good news today. The news of God coming into and being part of the world, of being part of our lived fleshly experience, of knowing our hurts, sorrows, joys, and triumphs.

This time of year, we find comfort in the story of the babe in the manger surrounded by those most dear and shepherds and angels alike. We delight in lit candles, fireplaces, and warm renditions of Silent Night. We rest in what we imagine is the peace and glory that was a night oh so long ago. It’s a powerful truth and a comforting tale of love revealed from the heavens in the glow of night.

It’s also a tale about love that was and still is missing in some hearts, minds, and places. The story and reality of Jesus’s birth would not be necessary if all, in and of the world, were well and whole. So it’s the story that needs to keep being told and lived into day after day, year after year. For as these dark days point out, not all is right with the world and not all is good and life-giving for everyone. There is still war instead of peace; hunger and poverty instead of fullness; hate and vengeance instead of love and forgiveness; loneliness instead of friendship; homelessness instead of welcome and care. The love the babe in the manger came to bestow and remind us of is still a work in progress, work that God is still working on and through willing hands, open hearts, and even stubborn souls.

I hope that this season is meaningful as it reminds us of the many blessings we have experienced and are able to share. May we all be attentive to God’s presence and action this season and in the year to come. For we don’t know when we, like the shepherds, might hear good news that needs to be seen and needs to be shared.

As we do every year, we will tell the Christmas story through words and song. Christmas Eve service at 5pm is a Family Service, and children will be able to take part in the telling of the story. The Christmas Eve service at 8pm will have candles and communion. Christmas Day we will gather at 10am for a service of lessons and carols. Hope to see you there!

Merry Christmas my Friends!

Pastor Kirsten