From the Pastor – December article

The season of Advent has arrived for the Christian community.

Advent, as you are well aware, anticipates the birth of the Christ child at Christmas each year. Advent means coming. We believe Christ comes again at Christmas to the Church.

Simply saying Christ comes again at Christmas means little in itself. A little more explanation is in order.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph in the town of Bethlehem and hailed as the Son of God. He grew into adulthood, embarked upon his mission and ministry and, as a result, was crucified, died, and buried. He arose on the third and ascended into heaven. Fifty days later God sent the Holy Spirit to guide and be embodied in the church.

The Church is no ordinary organization. The Apostle Paul said Christian believers gathered together, as the Church, constitute the living body of Christ.

We know from personal experience that we may be called the body of Christ, but we don’t always live up to that name. Christ gives us a mission and ministry, but we imperfectly represent the body of Christ to the world.

At Christmas time we are reminded that as a church we are the body of Christ and that Christ enters into our church body to renew our work on his behalf.

Let’s be honest with ourselves. We don’t live up to God’s expectations of us as the body of Christ in this world. We get tired and bored with being disciples and serving the mission and ministry of the church. Sometimes people say they retire from the church. But retirement in the ministry is no option. We may just want to come to church on Sunday and then go home, or maybe we just have other things we want to do on Sunday morning. But, if that is our attitude, we have lost the meaning of Christian discipleship.

For some Christians, Christmas day or eve is schmaltzy end of Christmas. We exchange gifts, have a meal, sing Christmas carols, exchange gifts, and then go to bed with dreams of sugar plumb fairies dancing in our head.

But let’s get this straight. Christmas does not end the coming of Christ but announces his intention to come and renew Christians in their faith and work.

Christ has blessed this congregation with faithful members, a beautiful facility and special location and a ministry to this community. These are his gifts to us.

At Christmas, Christ announces his presence and intention to renew and reinvigorate us as the living body of Christ in this world. This is not a time for endings, but beginnings. He gives us the energy, knowledge, and desire to carry his work forward thru the church. This is the occasion to renew our faith and comment as disciples of Christ in his body, the Church.

Pastor Richard Pokora