That is to say, we are not religious until December roles around. In the lead up to the Christmas season, Americans show a surprising amount of religiosity in surprising ways. Sure, some of these ways can be negative. Christmas is a time when Americans are known for being materialistic with our shopping and giving habits, unleashing our wallets to drop dollars and swipe credit cards with almost reckless abandon. Yet, for the various pitfalls of the season, the religiosity that Americans exhibit during the Christmas season can also be quite good and refreshing. Many of us drive or fly great distances to intentionally connect with family that we do not get to see very often. People are known to talk about and praise the spirit of Christmas as an almost mythical form of wonderment about the season which I believe is nothing other than religious. The spirit of Christmas is really just another way of talking about the time of year when we get together to reflect on and stand in wonder of the Great Beyond. This time of year, rampant criticism and skepticism about proving the unseen falls silent, we do our best to pay attention to the better angels of our nature, and, hopefully, we will do our best to listen to the angels heralding our Savior’s birth from the heavens.
This year, we folks of Faith who live religiously year-round, will do our best to help lead others in living religiously for this one time of year. We are joining in support of our community’s Lights Under the Big Sky event which will be taking place over the first three weekends of December. The Faith Lutheran Women will host a vendor table that first weekend, and our entire congregation will help host a table throughout the third weekend of the event. The money we raise will help, God willing, our many ministry efforts and outreach opportunities throughout 2018. On Sunday, December 10th at 4 pm, we will host a live Nativity scene through which we will lead the crowd in understanding the true meaning of Christmas as we read the story of Jesus’ birth in the Gospel of Luke and sing carols around the scene. Finally, we will include the voices of our Mission Valley Children’s Choir as we hold our Christmas concert at the event on Sunday, December 17th at 3 pm, singing several songs devoted to telling of the Messiah’s birth.
At Faith Lutheran, we will devote extra worship time to preparing our hearts and minds throughout the season of Advent with our midweek worship services on Wednesday, December 6,13, and 20th at 6:30 pm. We will be using the Holden Evening Prayer Service that our congregation loves so well for these midweek services. Our Advent season will culminate with our candlelit Christmas Eve services at 7 pm and 9 pm on Christmas Eve. We encourage everyone to join us for one of these services and invite any friends or family to come too so that they may have a community of faith for this sacred evening.