Greetings St. John’s Lutheran Church!
“Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” –Matthew 2:18-21
A Season of Visiting
For many, the holidays are a season of visiting. Families travel, sometimes great distances, to be with one another at this special time of year. Some folks must attend multiple holiday gatherings to be able to visit with different sides of their family. Here at St. Johns, we will be inviting some of you to visit with homebound members who can no longer attend worship. Visiting can remind us of the multiple ties of love that connect us with family and friends, but the coordination of schedules and travel can also be stressful!
This Advent, in the stories that we will read leading up to Christmas, visiting angels deliver news laden with potential stressors. Zechariah is suddenly saddled with imminent parenthood in his old age. Mary is faced with being shamed by her community for being pregnant outside of marriage. Joseph discovers that his fiancé is with child, and the child is not his!
Listening for God
Despite stressful news, each character receives an invitation to shrug off stress and be present with God. Zechariah’s loss of his voice offers an invitation to be still. Mary’s miraculous pregnancy offers an invitation to wonder at the mystery of God’s ways. Joseph’s dream offers an invitation to be at peace with his fiancé. We too need reminders to be still, to wonder, and to be at peace this Advent season.
Waiting for Christ
As we wait together for Christ’s coming, may God’s presence bless us with moments of stillness, wonder, and peace.
In Christ, Pastor Kat