St. Luke's United Methodist Church

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8:00, 9:30, & 11:00 a.m. - Traditional
9:30 and 11:00 a.m. - Contemporary

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4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
407.876.4991

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Blog Post from Pastor Jenn-December 13, 2018

Posted on December 13, 2018 at 2:39 pm in ,.

Dear St. Luke’s Heart Decorators,

Congratulations and a huge round of thanks to everyone who participated in our amazing Christmas Concerts this past weekend. Everything was absolutely beautiful and truly touched the hearts of all who were there. The Choir, Dance Ensembles, Children and Youth Choirs, Handbells and Orchestra along with our tech staff have worked for months preparing and it was worth every second. You all truly brought us to a place of beauty and joy. On behalf of the congregation and community thank you for all your passion and work.

If you’ve been around St. Luke’s for a while you know how much I LOVE Christmas lights. I like white, twinkly lights all year round, but especially at Christmas time. So it’s been hard for me not having everything lit up in the worship spaces for the first two weeks of advent. But preparing and making our hearts ready through the promises of hope and peace were essential first steps in this very intentional journey toward the manger. But this is the week where JOY is revealed through LIGHTS!!!

John 1 will be read in worship this week as we consider the power of Light as a symbol for the coming of Christ. But let me share it with you from the paraphrase by Eugene Peterson known as The Message:

Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out.

 I love the idea of The Life-Light that blazes out of the darkness. Light that enters into the nooks and the crannies of those places of darkness that are physical, but also those emotional places of darkness. Every time I share these words with a parent of a child we baptize, and hand a candle to them, you can see this overwhelming sense of calm, peace and true joy on their face.  With all there is to be worried or frightened about as you are raising a child, to hold the candle which represent the promise that the Light lives in your child and no darkness will overcome it, is a gift of joy. The hope is every time they light this candle to remember their child’s baptism, it’s not only a learning moment for the child, but it’s a promise the parents can bank on to give them peace. There is a more powerful One at work watching, working and blessing their child, the Life light of God.

Join us in worship this week as we light up our sanctuary to help us each light up our hearts with joy. Why not find some lights or create an Advent wreath space in your home this week to add a little light and some moments of reflection into your Advent heart preparation. Where would a little light bring joy into maybe some dark spots in your life? Consider ways to bring light to someone else’s life this week. Maybe bring a candle and a special Christmas treat to someone going through a difficult time this season. How could you bring light into the darkened corners of our community this week?

Before signing off, I want to welcome our new class of St. Luke’s Partners we brought into membership last week. We are so excited to have these new St. Lukers take this official step of joining with us as we continue to build disciples who build the Kingdom.

See you Sunday where we will officially “lighten up!”

Jenn.

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