Monday, December 7, 2020


 The link for all our live-streamed services is:

As event after event is cancelled in 2020 we all feel sorrow and disappointment. No parties, no church, no symphony concerts, no "Messiah" performances, no children and grandchildren coming home for the holidays.  How can they cancel Christmas? 

Yet, in other years, don't we complain about this same hustle and bustle robbing Christmas of its true meaning? We are a contrarian bunch!

In the spirit of making lemonade when life hands out lemons, let's look for positive ways to use the unexpected quiet of this Advent to bless our lives. Here are a few suggestions:

  • With fewer people coming to dinner, use the money you save to increase your charitable donations.  There is enormous need in our community. 
  • Tune in to SPPC's weekly live-stream service, but make it special. Create your own Advent wreath. Light the candles of hope and peace, joy and love in order as they are lighted at church. Turn off distractions.

  • There are many, many recordings of "Messiah" available. If you have one in your collection of cd's or even lp's at home, make a date with your household to attend a "concert." Put on your concert clothes, sit quietly and really listen. Don't use it as background noise for a different activity. Listen as you would in the concert hall. Hear the beauty of the music and the passion of the words. If you want a sing-along version led by Canada's Tafelmusik go here.
  • If you love baking for Christmas, go ahead and make your favourite cookies. You can share them with friends and neighbours from a distance. You'll have the reward of giving without the expectation of a cup of tea in exchange.
  • Write Christmas cards, or make some of your own. With extra time on your hands this is a great way to stay in touch with loved ones. It's quick and easy to send an e-mail, but a real card in the mail will bless both the giver and receiver in other ways. There is nothing like the personal touch to make people feel valued.

  • Wait. Remember that Mary spent nine months preparing for the birth of Jesus. We can use the quiet of Advent 2020 to prepare a place in our lives and our hearts for the Saviour. We can read the Christmas stories in the Bible. We can do Advent devotionals. We can set up a nativity scene and spend time contemplating each of the characters in it. Do you empathise with Mary and Joseph, the new parents? Do you feel more like the shepherds come in from the fields to witness and earth-changing event? Or are you a sage from a distant land drawn to worship a King from a different realm?        

   These are only a few suggestions. I'm sure each of you has unique ways to make Advent, waiting, meaningful and sacred. Please share your ideas in the comments section below. You might help someone else.

Last week Pastor George reminded us that our times are in God's hands. None of us wants to live through a pandemic, but the Israelite's didn't want to live under Roman rule either. 
 It is easy to look back and see God moving through history. It is not so easy to live it. But with God's help, we can make Christmas 2020 a time of spiritual enrichment. 

Thanks to Jerusha for the photos of our church decorations.       

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