Advent is all about waiting and arriving.
Now that we are waist deep in the Christmas season, the waiting time is nearly done. It is time to begin celebrating.
There is no scene in film that better depicts this phenomenon than in the musical, “Scrooge.” During the visit of “Christmas Past,” Ebenezer is forced to remember how old Fezziwig, his boss, rolled up the carpet, closed the shop, set the table with goodies, fired up the band, and danced until he was breathless to the rousing tune, “December the Twenty-fifth!”
But Baptists don’t generally dance—and certainly not in worship at church. How do we celebrate then? We sing the ancient carols that carry the Christmas memories from childhood. We get misty-eyed listening to Handel’s “Messiah.” We stand in someone’s yard and carol the homebound inhabitants. Hot chocolate never tastes better than when we are back at the church feeling so good that we took some time to take some Christmas to some who might not have had a visitor lately.
A lot of that sort of thing will be going on all over the Christian world in the next ten days or so. At Bayshore we will gather this Sunday (December 19) for one big unified service of worship. The Traditions crowd will scoot over at eleven o’clock and make room for the Encounter disciples. Karl Lackey, our Worship Minister, has a potpourri of Christmas music to serve up. The choir will sing, the Bible stories of Christmas will be reiterated, and I will nudge us ever closer to the end of Advent with a brief message, “The Love Has Come!”
Gathered together, we will warm ourselves by the glow of our fellowship as we remember that the world was once very bloody and bleak, very dark and dismal, very sere and sinful. Then, Jesus came! Love came down in the dimples of a baby boy! Shepherds, Wise Men, and angels stood slack-jawed in amazement as the God of the Universe slipped on our frail humanity and carved out His Emmanuel-place among us. The Creator painted Himself into the picture of creation! Hallelujah!
Empty the waiting room! Sound the trumpet! The King has arrived!
Brush your hair! Shoulders straight! Chin up! Love has finally . . . come!
Everything’s going to be all right.
Love you, dear Saints of the Lord!