Merry Christmas

Good morning and Merry Christmas to you and your family. I wanted to say a word to you about our celebration this year. As you know we will not be gathering Christmas Eve this year as in the past. As an alternative we are offering a Drive Thru Love Feast Christmas Eve from 11:30-1:00. What is this? This is a way to share our love for God and one another with the community as we share the means of grace. We ask you to come, invite friends and family to enter at the upper end of the cemetery as we did during the Trunk or Treat event, simply come to the covered walkway. You will be handed your kit, bread, water and instructions, a cross necklace and a bible if you need one. You simply take it home and use the worship order with your family to celebrate your love of Jesus and each other.
The Love Feast offers another form of the means of grace through a meal celebrating fellowship and unity while remembering the meals that Jesus shared with his disciples during his ministry. John Wesley first experienced the Love Feast with the Moravians in 1737 and wrote in his diary, “After evening prayers, we joined the Germans in one of their love feasts. It was begun and ended with thanksgiving and prayer and celebrated in so decent and solemn a manner as a Christian of the apostolic age would have allowed to be worthy of Christ.” The Love Feast is celebrated especially in times when celebrating communion is deemed inappropriate – particularly when no one is physically present who is qualified to administer the Sacrament. The main focus of the prayer, fellowship, praise, and scripture.
This makes the Love Feast particularly appropriate during this time when we are experiencing Advent and Christmas so differently. we join together as a community of faith with whom Christ is present, we set symbols on our table to remind us of his promises to us: a candle (or light), to remind us of the way, “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life”. Bread, symbol to remind us of God’s love, “I am the bread of life. The bread that I shall give is myself for the life of the world”. A cup, representing the cup of salvation. Through this, we remember Jesus’ love that is poured out for all of us. It is a time as family we can be encouraged and feel fellowship as we tell stories of Christmas’ past of what Jesus has done for us and how we long to be together again.
I am asking those who are available on this very busy day, to take a few minutes and ride out to the church to participate.  Let’s have fun with this means of grace. Some of you may want to park your cars and simply smile and wave to those coming through. Some may want to make a sign to hold or post welcoming our Savior?  Some may want to help hand out crosses or Bibles.  This is new for all of us. Be creative with ways to express our delight in the coming of Jesus to save the world.
Robin Hinson said it well “I know this is a bit last minute, but Christmas is meaningless without Christ and I fear our world wants to keep Him quiet.  But He is THE reason to celebrate the season!  Of all people, we should share the glad tidings with the world, at least on 24-27 in Stanly County.  We shouldn’t miss this opportunity to share Jesus with the world.” Make a few minutes to come out Thursday Christmas Eve between 11:30 and 1:00.
Merry Christmas.
Pastor Ron