What a wonderful way to conclude our Advent by beginning our life together in our Mission Outpost this past Sunday! It was a deep joy to worship Jesus together at last in our new home. And there is so much more to come.
As we enter into the Comfort and Call of Christmas, I invite you to reflect on these words from Eugene Peterson, written in his introduction to the book, God with Us:
“In the first chapter of St. John’s Gospel, his re-writing of Genesis, we read, ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.’ St. Matthew and St. Luke begin their Gospel stories with detailed accounts of Jesus’ birth. St. Paul in his letter to the Colossians, the first written reference to Jesus’ birth, calls Jesus the ‘first born of all creation.’
“Creation is God’s work, not ours. We accept and enter into and submit to what God does—what God made and makes. We are not spectators of creation but participants in it. We are participants first of all by simply being born, but then we realize that our births take place in the defining context of Jesus’ birth. The Christian life is the practice of living in what God has done and is doing. We want to know the origin of things so that we can live out of our origins. We don’t want our lives to be tacked on to something peripheral. We want to live origin-ally, not derivatively.
“So we begin with Jesus. Jesus is the revelation of the God who created heaven and earth; he is also the revelation of the God who is with us, Immanuel. The original Genesis creation, the stories of Israel, the lamentations of the prophets, the singing of the psalms—all of these make sense in the light of that one birth that we celebrate at Christmas. The theologian Karl Barth goes into immense detail (he wrote four fat volumes on it) to make this single point: ‘We have established that from every angle Jesus Christ is the key to the secret of creation.’”
The Comfort of the Christmas is that Jesus our Light has come; the Call is to celebrate! I look forward to doing so together this Christmas Eve, with cocoa and cookies at 4pm, with liturgy and song at 5pm, and in our pj’s on Christmas morning at 10am.
Your Pastor in Christ,