Dear Advent Travelers,
Last night the campus was buzzing with preparations.
Our wonderful children and youth were practicing for “A Charlie Brown Christmas” which will be presented this weekend. Online tickets are sold out, but we will have a waiting list for tickets at the Will Call desk. You will be able to walk up and put your name in for tickets if they become available.
The Choir was busy working on their Christmas Concert music which is being performed next weekend. The Sunday performance is now sold out but tickets are still available for Saturday, December 9. Click here to purchase tickets.
We also started the Advent season with our first Wednesday night worship time. An old fashioned “hanging of the greens” service to explain the symbolism of the Christmas season. This service was a little over thirty minutes and filled with every generation of St. Lukers from infants on up. We hung ornaments, placed evergreen, lit the trees and candles and came to the table for communion. We then headed to classes to learn, discuss, and explore together the scriptures, CS Lewis and the work of our imaginations to prepare us for Sunday worship. It was a special moment and a perfect way to begin the season of preparation together. Another way to prepare your hearts for Advent is to pick up your copy of “Advent in Narnia: Reflections for the Season,” available for purchase on Sundays in the Rotunda of Building C for $10.00. Purchase yours and be in devotion with us this Advent season.
When you come to worship you will have a chance to step through the wardrobe into a land of holy imagination and wonder. We will hear again the prophetic words of Isaiah who called to the people of Israel, and still calls to us today. As we find our world in times much like those in which CS Lewis wrote, many in our community and our world understand what it means to live “where it’s always winter but never Christmas.” Like the people of Israel waiting in darkness, we wait for the light to pierce through and give us hope. I invite you to prepare for worship this week by reading Isaiah 64 as well as Mark 13. While the message of both scriptures are a word of lament, in the midst of the lament there is hope and praise. “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father, we are the clay, and you are our potter, we are all the work of your hand.” How can you prepare, not the Christmas “stuff”, but for your Advent heart to be malleable in the imaginative hands of the Great Artist to embrace the incarnation in new ways of hope, peace, joy and love?
One of the ways we participate in the work of the incarnation and make Christ’s love known in this season is through our Wish Tree. This year we have a considerable goal and we need your help. We are trying to be able to have 600 toys for the social workers to share with Orange County Public School (OCPS) students and 450 toys for our Annual East Winter Garden Christmas Shop. This event has become a wonderful tradition where residents and Circle Leaders are empowered to come and shop to purchase Christmas gifts for their children. We are also supplementing bags of grace food this year with gift cards per the request of the OCPS social workers. YOU can make a difference in the lives of children by picking up a tag from the Wish Trees this Sunday or making an online donation (click here). Please return all unwrapped gifts and giftcards by December 10. We surpassed our backpack goal by double this fall, so I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish with Wish Tree!!
I cannot wait to begin Advent Sunday worship with you. In the words of Lucy Pensieve, “It’s a magic wardrobe. There’s a wood inside it, and it’s snowing and there’s a faun and a witch and it’s called Narnia; come and see!”
With Advent Hope,