12-13-2018 – e-News

A Note from Pastor Chelsea
 
December can be a rough month.
 
Let’s just call a spade a spade, okay? December is busy and chaotic and packed full of activities and responsibilities vying for our attention – many under the guise of “getting us in the holiday spirit.”
 
If I look around me, “getting in the holiday spirit” means longer lines, way more traffic, frantic shoppers, weary families …
 
But I’d like to think that really embracing the holiday spirit means giving yourself space to catch you breath as you reflect on the gift of Jesus.
 
This past Sunday evening, our KiX Christmas Choir presented a short music program at Cupcakes & Carols. The highlight of the night for me had to be their performance of “O Holy Night.” They sang with gusto, even when those high notes were tricky to hit.
 
One particular lyric from that song has been replaying in my head this Christmas season:
 
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices!
 
When I hear those simple, powerful words, my mind immediately goes to the shepherds – you know, the ones “keeping watch over their flocks by night.” I think about the anxieties their jobs probably caused them – overworked and underpaid, chastised by society, and constantly on the lookout for predators, be they in human or animal form. This raggedy crew probably could have used a shower and a shave. Maybe they were exchanging their woes around the fire that night – a biblical water cooler of sorts.
 
Suddenly, the sky is filled with light as an angel appears to them. And they are afraid – and rightfully so! (Have you ever noticed how most times an angel shows up in scripture people are terrified? Makes me think our nativity set angels may be a little off .. ) The angel calms the shepherds down and tells them the good news – the Messiah has come! Yes, Jesus – the Messiah these shepherds have been waiting to arrive for as long as they can remember. The Messiah their parents waited for and their grandparents and their great-grandparents and on and on. Talk about a true thrill of hope! To top it off, they are treated to their very own concert from the multitude of heavenly hosts.
 
And what do these weary shepherds do? They rejoice! They go “with haste” to find this Messiah. I like to think they sprinted, desperate for this glimpse of hope in a wary, weary world. They find their hope in a newborn baby, hanging out in a barn with his peasant parents. The shepherds have no idea just how much this kid is going to change everything – but they know he’s a big deal, so they hit the ground running – telling everyone this good news of great joy.
 
This Christmas, I want to be more like those shepherds. I want to embrace thew news of Christ’s birth with that same level of vigor and excitement. This Messiah, a thrill of hope – may our weary hearts rejoice!
 
Pastor Chelsea
 
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