Monday, November 23, 2009

Joyful Anticipation

Advent 2009

There comes a time in a family’s life when they realize that indeed a new baby is on the way. The quiet expectation and the peaceful preparation are going to give way to some very visible (and audible) changes in life – and they are welcomed!

The new child represents new hope – the future of the family, and a future for the community in which the child is born. For more than the immediate family is concerned in the birth of a child – it is a matter of moment for the whole community.

So it was for the people who gathered around a simple bed in a humble place, in the city of David, two thousand years ago. They had been waiting – some in anxiety, some in hope – for a new day to dawn in Israel, a new beginning for God’s people.

They wondered how God would come to them – for God had promised to dwell in their midst.

They wondered how God would redeem them – for they surely felt themselves in need of liberation.

They wondered how God would sustain them – and they relied on the promise of the Spirit.

All these expectations built slowly, surely, as the winter deepened toward the dark end of December, and autumn leaves turned to cold gray boughs. Fallen needles spread their carpet below the cedars of Lebanon and the pines of the heights.

They waited – for they knew the promise. God would send the One to redeem us, sanctify us, keep us holy, and help us prepare for the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven.

It was Christ they waited for: the Messiah— the “anointed one” chosen by God to be God with us, Emmanuel, God among us, the one sent by God to us, to call us.

And God sent his Son to dwell among us, to bless us and redeem us and call us forward into a new future, free from fear, free to worship, a future with hope.

This season we invite you to be with us at St Alban’s as we anticipate with joyful preparation the advent— the arrival— of Christ at Christmas.

We invite you to stay with us through the holidays for the celebrations of Christmas Eve & Day, and into the season of Christmas, all the way through Epiphany celebrations on the first Sunday of the New Year, and beyond.

Come to worship!

We come together on Sunday mornings, for worship at 8:00 & 10:30 (Sunday, December 6th— one service at 9am followed by the annual parish meeting) and every Wednesday evening during the four weeks leading up to Christmas, for evening worship at 6:15 p.m.

Come to worship! Special services for the holidays—

We celebrate the birth of the Christ Child on Christmas Eve – with a family service at 5:30 p.m., including a children’s pageant (Shepherds! Angels! — Your children are welcome to take part), and at 10:30 p.m., a candlelight service.

And we anticipate a visit from the Magi and their friends on Sunday, January 3rd, 2010...

Please join us in welcoming the good news of the coming of the King promised of old, a King not like the world knows, but a One who brings among us the very peace and presence of God.

Yours in joyful anticipation,

Fr. John

The Rev. John R. Leech
Priest and Rector

Sunday worship at 8am & 10:30am
(Childcare available at the 10:30 hour)
Wednesdays in Advent - evening worship 6:15pm

Christmas Eve Family Service
Shepherds! Angels! —
Pageant & Eucharist 5:30pm
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 10:30pm
Christmas Day Service 10:30am
Jan 3rd— Epiphany Pageant & Eucharist 10:30am
Wise men still seek him…

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