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Below this is the full text of Pastor John's article
We're to the season of Advent and for all the things that are changing, there are still many things that remain the same. We are still in a season of preparation and expectation. I know many of us are struggling with changes related to work, holiday parties and fun, school, and even church.
This is normally one of the biggest times of year for us. I was looking back at the past few years and before I'd have a big list of all the things going on and all of the different ways that we can give to others.
We have fewer activities than normal, how we can give has changed some, and we're still figuring out what worship is going to look like through this season. That being said, this is an opportunity for us to figure some things out. Our desire is to reach out for the things that we know, and yet many of those things are beyond us right now. Instead, now is the time to reach out to someplace different.
Mary and Joseph found themselves in a similar place. In a normal time they would have been married and then started a family. However, they had the competing burdens of Mary being pregnant before they were officially married, and then needed to travel to another town right before the time she was supposed to give birth.
I imagine they did like a lot of us are doing right now and they grumbled....probably a lot, about all of the things that they wish they could be doing in that moment. But they still found themselves in a stable laying their newborn son in a manger.
Our journey through this season may, or may not, feel as dramatic as theirs. What we can do to make our way through it is to lean in. To know that even if we don't understand how, God is at work. Now is the time to rediscover what old traditions mean, let go of those that have lost their meaning, and to discover what is new.
For the Church, the new year started last Sunday (11/29). This is our time to live in a new world, with a God that knows our struggles and challenges, but who still walks with us each day.