Beloved of God,
Autumnal oranges deepened into Christmas reds in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Advent is well upon us, and Christmas preparations are, I imagine, well under way. Lights are already twinkling throughout the village, and visions of sugar plums and all sorts of other delights are dancing through our heads. Children are happily anticipating the wonders of Christmas morning, and some of us are working hard to keep focused on the wonders of His love. This is the season of busyness, when we bake ourselves into a frenzy and shop until we’re ready to drop.
In the midst of Advent busyness, I want to take a moment to reassure you all that no matter what else may be going on, I am never too busy to find time for you. There is no budget or bylaw review, no bulletin proofing, no e-news edition, no service planning, nor anything else in all creation that I would rather do than spend time with you – the people of Saint Matthias’ Church. Some have mentioned that they didn’t want to bother me because they “know I’m busy,” and others have said they’ve heard from others how much I have to do.
While there is indeed a lot to running a parish, I want you to know that YOU – as individuals and as God’s people together in this holy place – are the greatest gift of this call to ministry. It is all those moments that we share that make all the difference to me: the moment we raise our voices together in song, the moment that I put the body of Christ into your outstretched hands, the moment that you greet me at the church door, the moment you are in the building and stop by my office just to say hello or share a new idea or a joy or a concern, the moment that I visit you in the hospital, the moment that we plan a wedding or baptism or funeral, the moment we share coffee or a meal and talk about stuff that matters; indeed ALL the moments we share bring me exceeding great joy and are what I love the most about my ministry here among you. Please be assured that no matter how long my to do list might be, I always have more room in my heart and time on my hands to spend with you. The rest will fall into place with God’s help.
As you go about this busy season, I hope you will make room for Jesus to stir your soul in ever new ways. Meanwhile, please know that I carry you all in my heart and prayers daily – with no exceptions – and I look forward to many more wonderful moments together with you!
~And even more than that, know that you are held dearly in God’s very own heart:
God who is indeed Love itself:
Love came down at Christmas,
love all lovely, love divine;
love was born at Christmas:
star and angels gave the sign.
~Hymn 84 (Hymnal 1982)
Advent love and blessings,