Our Advent and Christmastide worship services will take their inspiration from the well-known hymn, O Holy Night: “A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!” I assume that you will agree with me that our world feels more weary than usual this year. Our December and January worship series responds to that reality (and the hymn’s promise) with this question: how exactly does a weary world rejoice?
The authors of the series write:
“Christ was born into a weary world. King Herod ruled the land with a legacy of ruthlessness. The Romans treated the people of Israel with contempt, imposing harsh taxes and land seizures that forced many into subsistence farming. Poverty and destitution were pervasive. And yet, Christ was born, bringing good news of great joy for all people. This season, we invite you to look closely at the details in the opening chapters of the Gospel of Luke. Discover where joy is sprinkled throughout the narrative. Identify the moments when joy arrives—despite trepidation, fear, or grief. And consider how joy can be a companion to you this season, for our joy is rooted in the truth that we belong to God. Can you tether yourself to that deep truth? You deserve to feel joy—fully. The world needs your joy, even if you are weary.”
There will be lots of ways to look for joy this season: in the Alternative Christmas Market (on December 3), during the Deacon-led Christmas Caroling (on December 10), and certainly during our three services on Christmas Eve (Sunday, December 24) at 11:00 am, 5:00 pm (with a children’s pageant), and 7:30 pm (with communion, lessons, and carols).
I will also be leading a weekly Advent Communion Service on Tuesday mornings during December from 8:00 to 8:30 am (December 5, 12, 19). If you are needing an additional space to acknowledge your weariness, look for joy, or just find companionship in this season of waiting, I hope that you will join us in the sanctuary.
We are weary, but we are not without hope.