OHIO VALLEY DISTRICT
Keeping Christmas Fresh and New
One of the ways to keep Christmas fresh and new every year is to use the Psalms appointed for each Sunday in Advent (the 3rd Sunday in Advent lists Isa. 12:2-6.) and Christmas as brief Bible study, theological reflection, and for prayer. These readings are rich and powerful. God will use this time of meditation to work deeply in our hearts and souls bringing about a new birth of Christ in us! Most of us let the time of year create the illusion that we are too busy, harried, and saddened by the loss of our sacred season to pray. The truth is that this is precisely the time to meditate deeply on God’s Word and Presence!
The Psalms form a powerful basis of theology and prayer for the Advent and Christmas Gospel readings. New life is but a prayer away! As our souls are renewed by word and Spirit, our preaching, teaching, caring, and celebrating will all be renewed, energized, and transformed. Significance and strength for the Season can be found where it is always found; in prayerful reading and reflecting upon sacred scripture. For example, the responsive reading for the third Sunday in Advent is Isaiah 12:2-6. Notice the first half of verse 2:
"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid!"
I added the exclamation point in place of the comma. Here is clear theology and common sense living in the same short half verse. God is indeed our salvation. God has got this. Salvation is not ours to lose if we think the wrong thought, believe in the wrong way, or even sin against God. That would make salvation our business and our doing. Salvation belongs to God, and God is our salvation. That is the theology. Notice the common sense. I will trust, and will not be afraid. How many of us are living with fear, anxiety, and are willing to act on that fear and anxiety? If God has got us, and our circumstances, “Why should we be afraid?” “Why should we live in a state of distrust?” We are to trust God and act out of that trust. I urge you to read the rest of the appointed prophesy. It is powerful and will provide a place for you to discover just how close God is.
Friends, we were created for this Season of proclamation, song, and joy! This is who we are! We have the wonderful privilege of telling the world, our neighbors, and each other the Good News of God’s mighty acts back then, right now, and our hope for God’s continued work on into the future. God never stops giving us Jesus Christ.
Ohio Valley District Office:
Rev. Bruce Hitchcock
352 Canton Rd.
Wintersville, OH 43953
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
(Summer Hours beginning June 21
Monday thru Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m
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