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'Tis the Season
December 7, 2021, 12:00 PM

I love this time of year! Such an exciting time – having finished up a wonderful special day of Thanksgiving to God for His abundant provision... and now in the season of Advent, awaiting the arrival of Christmas, and all our funtastic and expectant traditions of this marvelous season, my “mostest favoritest” time of year!
Advent defined (noun) - 1the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event; the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding the first season of Sundays. In the bigger picture of how our worship comes together, we have All Saints/All
Souls days, Christ the King Sunday, Thanksgiving, the Advent Season and Christmas that
start our Holy Year.... With All Souls Day, we remember those who have gone on to
Heaven ahead of us. It is a solid reminder of our hope in Heaven that we have in Jesus
Christ and a faith builder for trusting Him. With Christ the King Sunday, we reaffirm
Christ as King of our lives and of everything that has meaning to us. With Thanksgiving,
we count our blessings (it has become less about the 1601 harvest feast of Pilgrims and the
Wampanoag people), especially for those we hold dear. Christmas is our most special
remembrance of the birth of the person who died for all our sins, restoring us to God and to
realizing His amazing plan for our lives.

Just curious... what do you remember from your past Christmases? ...your most precious gifts you received or gave... things you did... what did you eat... your fondest school and church Christmas celebration memories... what touched your heart the most? Mine? Grandparents and uncles... amazing Christmas gifts that I thought my parents could not have afforded... green boughs and holly... cutting Christmas trees in beautiful snow covered mountains... traveling long distances to visit parents and grandparents... children and grandchildren... our big family Christmas Eve parties with gift giving at my parent’s home... Christmas dinner (always turkey with all the trimmings including my favorite Waldorf salad)... beautiful candlelight services at church... amazing prophesies fulfilled.... nativity scenes... angels, shepherds and the three wise men.... and the Word became Flesh... singing happy birthday to Jesus around the angels chimes on Christmas morning... wonderful memories that are treasures I hold most dear... For my whole life, I have lived the Christmas calendar and always cherished every minute of it.

But this is Christmas ‘present.’ What does it look like for you? There are so many obnoxious things around us to take away our Christmas joy. I’d challenge you to not let the odiousness around us limit your Christmas. I challenge you to plan and carry out a wonderful holiday. Experience the River Walk again. Make time with family. Make memories. Remember the prophesies in Isaiah 9:6, the Angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary in Luke 1:26-38, the birth of Jesus in Luke 2:1-7 and Matthew 1:18-25, the Shepherds and the Angels in Luke 2:8-21, the visit of the Three Wise Men in Matthew 2:1-12, and the Biblical meaning of Christmas as explained in John 1:1-18. Enjoy the age-old Scriptures of our youth. Sing Christmas carols. Really “celebrate” the Birth of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, the Resurrection and the Life, the Ransom for our Sins, the Way-the Truth-and the Life, the One who holds me in Existence! I challenge you to really celebrate and enjoy Christmas this season! Feliz Navidad!

Rev. Robert Blake
Associate Minister
Central Christian Church