This Sunday marks the start of Advent, our four-week waiting time for the birth of the Christ Child. Each week in worship, we will mark the passage of the season by lighting a new candle in the Advent wreath along with the one from the week before. The candles represent hope, peace, joy and love and are meant to stir in us a longing for a world more hopeful, peaceful, joyful and loving. By Christmas Day, our longing turns to fulfillment in the birth of a child, Emmanuel-God with us.
If we savor the holy details of this waiting time, if we pause and enjoy the busyness of getting ready…the decorating, the shopping, the baking, the parties, the cards, the gifts and the donations, we may catch a glimpse of the Christ Child among us and within us. There may come a Christmas moment or two of a world transformed, more loving, more hopeful, joyful and peaceful.
At the Highlands, we have planned simple traditions to help get us ready. We hope as you join us week after week making ornaments for the Christmas tree, enjoying a cookie swap, decorating cookies and singing carols that you will find yourself growing expectant and ready. Our worship includes a Hanging of the Greens service, a festive Music Sunday, and a Christmas Pageant. The culmination of the season is on Christmas Eve with services including carols and candle lighting. We hope to see you often.
New this year is a Longest Night Service on Sunday, December 21st at 4:30 P.M. This day marks the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. The service will begin in Fellowship Hall with a gentle yoga class on our Labyrinth. We will then roll up our mats and walk the Labyrinth. This will be a quiet, meditative service lasting approximately 75 minutes. On this longest night of the year, come and see what may be longing to be born in you.
May you and yours be touched by love this Christmas.
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people."
- Luke 2:10