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Beginning with Advent, preachers, music leaders and the people who hear them each week will enter a year with Matthew’s gospel, thanks to the Revised Common Lectionary, which turns the focus to Year A beginning Nov. 27.
Growing up in Puerto Rico, the Rev. Edwin González-Castillo recalls Los Posadas and Three Kings celebrations where he and his friends would awaken people at 3 o’clock in the morning — even their favorite teachers weren’t exempt — with celebratory music of the season. Amazingly, those aroused from their slumber would in turn feed the revelers.
Until the 19th century, celebrating Christmas was typically a no-no for Presbyterians and members of other Protestant denominations.
No matter whether we celebrate Christmas together or apart because of the pandemic, may we be embrace God’s loving grace.
Especially during Advent and Christmas, we are reminded to drop our arrogance and selfishness and embrace our call to humility.
Presbyterians Today’s new Advent and Christmas Devotional for 2021 features spiritual and physical nourishment through holiday breadmaking.
If you think congregants are busy during Advent and Christmas, consider your preacher, who, as the Rev. Dr. Chip Hardwick quipped on Wednesday, quoting a friend, must be, during the few hours between Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, Billy Graham, Martha Stewart and Santa Claus rolled into one.
Public health officials urge people to wear masks. Workplaces and businesses adjust hours to prevent crowding. Several cities impose quarantines or ban public gatherings. This sounds like something people see and hear as they go online or watch the news every night, but this was December 1918 when the world struggled with the impact of a global flu pandemic.
A North Carolina church leapt into action to hand-make a new collection of ‘Chrismon’ Christmas ornaments featuring religious symbols.
This year’s pandemic-tinged Christmas gives us a great opportunity to step into the Christmas story — much like Mary did at the manger.