Monthly Archives: November 2012

Advent Musings…

In recent years the Christmas carol O Little Town of Bethlehem has become a particular favorite. The tune is quiet, even haunting, but it’s the words that have come to mean most:

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

The last line… how Christ meets us at the intersection of our hopes and fears…that touches the heart every time. Surely this is where we live, and just as surely, the love of God that shone from a manger in Bethlehem can brighten our hearts as well:

How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heaven.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

Don’t let “meek” distract you; instead, hear “where humble souls receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.” When we recognize that the source of hope, gladness, and grace comes from beyond ourselves, then we open our souls up to the only gift of Christmas that lasts: a love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things… a love that never ends. (1  Corinthians 13).

May the light and love of the Child of Bethlehem, the child who is no longer a child but the savior of the world, come anew into your life and into our world this Christmas.

Greg and Kathy

November Thoughts…

We write these words at the beginning of the end of the election season. The media are full of commercials, campaign signs dot the suburban landscape, and the results of most of the contests are still in doubt.

Electioneering brings out the best and the worst in us. The best in the sense that most of the time, we really are trying to find our way to a better community, a better state, a better nation, for all of us… and the worst in that too often, the end justifies the means in the quest for a winning campaign.

The view of human nature of our Presbyterian founding father, John Calvin, is perhaps nowhere better displayed. We human beings are capable of good, brave and selfless acts… and also such dishonesty and self-centeredness if not downright selfishness. And, as Calvin called us to recognize, the former is always infected to some or great extent by the latter. The reason we get such negative, distasteful campaigning is that, sadly, it works.

You may have noticed that the Presbyterian Church does not distribute a voter guide to the candidates or to the issues. That’s because we Presbyterians are not of one mind on these things. Some congregations and denominations would be united by political as well as theological persuasions. Not us. You’ll find every political party represented in WPC’s pews. We like it that way. Our unity is not to be found in political opinions, but in the God who claims us all in the grace of Jesus Christ. That means the church looks much less like a political party, and much more like a family that is bound together by something deeper – the bedrock truth that we all belong to God.

One thing is for sure. When the election is over, there will still be children to teach, the hungry to feed, the homeless to shelter. When the ballots have been counted, there will still be people who  need encouragement, comfort, and prayer. When the media hype has moved elsewhere, there will still be songs to sing, souls to grow, and justice to be done. And God will still need people of faith to teach, feed, shelter, encourage, comfort, pray, sing, grow, and do justice. So let us all cast our ballots, and then continue on with the “mission: possible” God has for us in this time and place.

See you in church!
Greg and Kathy