Advent Week 3: Jesus Christ and John the Baptist: let us prepare the way of the LORD with sincere worship and open hearts.
The wise men fell down and worshiped the child (Matthew 2:11).
Christmas can be the best of times. There are so many things about it I love: the focus on Christ’s incarnation, the humbling effect of remembering God’s entrance into our history and our flesh, the time with friends and family, the beautiful music, the giving of simple gifts as ways to say, “I love you.”
But Christmas can also be the worst of times. Too often there are too many demands and expectations, whether self-imposed or from others. For some there is the craziness of buying gifts and wrapping them; for others, there is the reality that it is another year in which loved ones won’t be getting any gifts because there simply isn’t enough money. Christmas can mean so many things to so many people.
For all these reasons, I find myself every year returning to this simple poem, written by friend and former member of Stone Hill, Jenn Hunt:
Christmas, I hate you:
the stress of you, the mess of you,
the fit in small black dress of you.
The fake of you, the ache of you,
the up ’til midnight bake of you.
The glitz of you, the blitz of you,
the party can’t be missed of you.
The bait of you, the weight of you,
the dread of late mail fate of you.
The rush of you, the slush of you,
the crumpled wrapping mush of you.
The whet of you, the get of you,
the deeper into debt of you.
Jesus, I love you:
the fuss of you, the muss of you,
the come and walk our dust of you.
The why of you, the lye of you,
the love I could not buy of you.
The serve of you, the nerve of you,
the not what I deserve of you.
The calm of you, the balm of you,
the feel here in my palm of you.
The catch of you, the patch of you,
the death has met its match of you.
The near of you, the far of you,
the take me where you are of you.
Stone Hill’s All-Church Christmas Party: Everyone is invited to join in the festivities today from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The party begins with our children’s Christmas pageant in the sanctuary, followed by a simple dinner with entertainment in Harris Hall, and ends with gingerbread house decorating by all in the atrium. All are welcome to a very fun event!
Financial Update: December is a hugely important month for Stone Hill Church in terms of ministry and giving! We have a goal of receiving $625,000 dollars during this month to ensure that we meet our ministry and budget obligations. Through December 11th, we have collected $92,000. Stone Hillers have always been a generous group of givers. We’re counting on your prayers, support, and the Lord’s help to meet this important goal…
Adult Ed Classes: Both the Grand Narrative and Faith & Reason classes end today. New classes entitled Theological thought in the life of the Church and The Book of Malachi will begin on January 6. Theological thought in the life of the Church will be led by Jacob Zeller in the Library at 9:30 a.m. Mark Catlin will be teaching on The Book of Malachi in Harris Hall at 9:30 a.m.
New Year’s Eve Service: All are welcome to attend a New Year’s Eve installation service at Transformation Church at 7 p.m. Transformation is inviting both of their mother churches, Central and Stone Hill, to be in attendance for this joyous occasion.