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Pastor Susan's Notes
Pastor Susan’s Notes
We know the routine:
*God decides: “I’m going down there.”
*Angels appear and talk to people (Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph).
*Mary and Joseph have to travel (and Mary is with child.)
*There’s no room at the kataluma…what? A Greek word that has flexible uses for some kind of a room. O bother.
*And all of those animals.
*Jesus is born and the rest is history, right?
We think we know the story; fact is, over time, there have been many theories and alternative ideas written. True, Jesus came to earth in an unexpected way, and yet, each Gospel writer tells the story differently. Not getting caught up in the details a Christmas pageant or program mashes all the stories and timelines together!
I read that “the story” or the Nativity Oratorio (a large scale musical work with no costumes, scenery or ‘action’) can be traced back to the seventh century. But the Smithsonian Magazine attributes St. Francis of Assisi who performed a Mass on Christmas Eve in 1223 in front of a life size nativity scene with live animals! They wrote: The nativity scene’s popularity took off from there. Within a couple of centuries, nativity scenes had spread throughout Europe. We don’t know if people actually played Mary and Joseph during Francis’ time, or whether they just imagined those figures’ presence. We do know that later scenes began incorporating dioramas and life actors, and the cast of characters gradually expanded beyond Mary, Joseph and sweet baby Jesus, to sometimes include an entire village.
We are blessed with a cast of characters again this year: US! We all participate in the story, somehow, by the mere fact of believing in Jesus who came to save the world “from aimlessness and sin.” We are ‘actors’ in the continuing story of God’s love, forgiveness, and hope for the world.
Advent and Christmas are wonderful seasons to enjoy activities and worship at church the entire month of December. What will YOUR part be? Seek the pages of this newsletter to find out how you will find your place in God’s story; there’s something for everyone.
(And please support our children and youth as they rehearse for “Breaking News: Christmas Around the World” presented on December 17th. We’ll learn how others celebrate.)
Sincerely, and with prayers for an Advent season full of jubilant anticipation and a warm and wonderful Merry Christmas!