Mission – Dec 17, Luke 2:25-35
If Costco was our guide, the time of preparing for Christmas would start in late October. But, as the Church, we begin preparing for Christmas with a season called Advent. It’s the hopeful expectation of the emergence of Emmanuel. As Christians, this season celebrates that Jesus did indeed come in the flesh and we also, just like Israel awaiting the Messiah’s first coming, eagerly await the long expected moment of Jesus’ triumphant second coming. It’s a season of hope in the midst of longing: bright lights in the darkness, warm conversations away from the cold, and gathering with loved ones even though some are unable to join us.
One of the clearest signs that Christmas is coming is not the decor of holly and ivy, but the encores of Oh Holy Night and It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. We know that carols are one of the primary ways we prepare for and celebrate the coming of our Lord and Saviour. What we may not have noticed before, though, is how the gospels contain Christmas Carols written and sung for the very same reasons: preparation and celebration. Over the next few weeks, we will preach from the first Christmas carols written by Mary, Zechariah, and Simeon as we prepare for, and celebrate, the coming of the newborn King.