December 18, 2021
Well, almost. This Sunday is our last Sunday of Advent. It’s the Sunday of love, in the traditional readings. We will talk in worship about the light and life that Jesus brings, according to the gospel of John. We will celebrate the Longest Night on Monday, with a service of light and love. We will do all the final preparations for Christmas Eve services.
At home, our kids are now out of school. The juggle of kids and jobs begins again as we try to keep them busy and their energy focused in a positive place. The baking and gift wrapping begin in earnest.
And hopefully, we will actually decorate for Christmas. That’s right – the Bartlows have our pre-lit tree up, with two ornaments on it. I did finally put up a few of my nativities this week, but that’s it. It’s almost bah-humbuggy in our house.
But Christmas is coming. I think I said it before: With or without the decorations, love will come at Christmas. We don’t need the wrappings and gifts and decorations for Christmas to be a day and a season of love. Just ask the Grinch!
Christmas is coming. Whether you are planning a quiet day at home by yourself, have a houseful coming to stay, or are traveling to be with family, Christmas is coming. Christmas is about love, the love of God for humanity and the love of humans for one another. As the carol by Christina Rossetti claims, “Love was born at Christmas, star and angel gave the sign.” Are you looking for the signs of love all around you? I have never seen them in angels or stars, but love is still here. Are you paying attention?
Sometimes, we have to create the love. We are the ones who will be love for another person. So choose to love this week. Respond to the harried mom in the store with love. Respond to the tired clerk with love. Treat the person in the mirror with love. Love is here. Do you see the signs?
Then, come worship the One who is Love Incarnate. Our Christmas Eve schedule is below. (Note there are some detail changes – we will offer communion only at the 10 p.m. service.) Worship the One who is Love Incarnate as we come to worship this Sunday as well. Let love define your Christmas. Choose love.
See you soon,
CHRISTMAS EVE SCHEDULE
Please note: Masks are required during all services as well as inside all St. Mark’s buildings.
Join us for worship:
11 a.m. Lessons and Carols
A service of Scripture and song that tells the Christmas story. Communion will be served.
Blessing of the Children
A family-oriented service with carols and a blessing of the children.
-2 p.m. Dove Mountain CSTEM School, 5650 W. Moore Rd.
-4 p.m. Main campus, 1431 W. Magee Rd.
6 p.m. A Modern Worship Service
With contemporary Praise Band
8 p.m.* A Traditional Candlelight Service
With Celebration Singers, concludes with candle lighting.
*This service will be livestreamed at umcstmarks.org/live-worship or YouTube UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley.
10 p.m. A Traditional Candlelight Service
With Chancel Choir and communion; concludes with candle lighting.