Joining with the Characters of Christmas

This year, the Sundays of Advent will be filled with people who play beloved roles in the story of God’s coming among us in Jesus. But we won’t be trying to rush into Christmas early!

Instead, we’ll explore each week the ancient Hebrew and Old Testament roots that help explain the meaning of the wise men, shepherds, Mary and Joseph. They don’t spring spontaneously onto the scene, but come filled with old understandings as well as fresh significance. They help to shape the nativity stories of Matthew and Luke in very different ways. And they reflect many of the same longings, struggles, and conflicts that are part of our world in 2011.

Our children and youth will be important in this journey. Sunday classes are preparing banners based on these characters to be presented each week, and each group will take a turn in the lighting of the Advent candles.

As you’ll see later in Crossroads, adults have an opportunity to delve more deeply into the scriptures and characters for each Sunday during their study group at 9:15 a.m. New folks are always welcome!

And the season will also have regular BPC traditions: Christmas caroling to seniors and shut-ins on December 18; and our Christmas Eve Family Service featuring children and youth in Nativity Tableaux (“scenes”).

Because Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Sundays this year, special plans are underway. On Christmas we will have a family-friendly Service of Lessons and Carols. New Year’s Day will feature a brunch, with communion around the tables, as a meaningful way to begin the new year.

Many of our members (and some friends!) will be helping to staff People Helping People’s Wish Tree at the Mall for three days during the shopping season to help bring holiday blessing to families having hardships. Our Deacons are planning a special offering opportunity, which will include assisting local nursing home residents with clothing (as you’ll see later in Crossroads).

Come, be part of the real blessings of God’s Christmas. Is there a friend you could invite to share the gift, too?

Peace,

Rod

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