Welcome to our December/January double issue.
With this edition we begin to put a wrap on 2020. Some would say “good riddance” to this year. I hear that. And in some areas, I’m right there with you. I think many of us will be toasting the coming new year at 11:59:59 p.m. on December 31st.
While we look ahead to next year with a degree of optimism (is there any other way), nevertheless we will still be dealing with things that happened this year. The most notable, of course, is the COVID-19 pandemic.
As I write this article, the possibility of another mandatory shutdown lingers on the horizon. We pray that will not need to happen. But if it does, should we be surprised?
So we continue to be careful, utilize all of the necessary precautions that are known to work, and encourage others to do the same. We can do no less. God calls us to care for the neighbor in the manner in which we care for ourselves. Let kindness rule your day.
We can look ahead that in the new year, probably by the end of January, our restoration from the September 9 fire will be completed. We are still planning that Christmas Eve worship will be in our “new and improved” nave.
In many respects this year has been like other years. We celebrated births, mourned deaths, laughed, cried and offered support where it was needed.
As we enter December, we enter into that time when we thank God for the greatest offering of all time: Jesus, born of Mary, guarded by Joseph, celebrated and worshipped by angels and shepherds. During this month we gather as families, as a congregation and as a global church. Some gatherings in-person. Most will be virtual. The time when God chose to come and be one of us, to live as one of us, but unlike us, to die and rise so that we may be connected to God forever.
During this time of recalling the incarnation of our Lord, may you treasure God’s good news in your heart, like Mary, and glorify and praise God loudly like the shepherds.
God bless your worship in Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and throughout the new year.
Clifton D. Eshbach,