In the darkness of winter we pray for coming of light. The promised return of the sun has been reinterpreted by Christians to be Jesus the Christ. With the gradual lighting of the candles on the Advent wreath we wait and watch and wonder. The arrival of Jesus means more than one thing and comes with a host of images in Scripture and Liturgy. On the first Sunday in Advent we meditate on Christ’s “coming again.” In the midst of Advent we look for Christ’s presence among us now and to be attentive to that presence often requires a change of heart. So we listen to John the Baptizer proclaim “repentance.” In other words, the community of faith is beckoned to turn toward the light by embarking upon new journeys of faith and trust. As Advent winds down we remember Christ’s first coming among us in the child born in Bethlehem.
When we gather on Sundays in Advent, the light is ritually brought into the darkened worship space. There will be room for silence. Much of our praying will be sung during the prayers of the people and at the table. And the liturgical color blue symbolizes the color of the night just before dawn. The four weeks of Advent are a small transition between darkness and light and the color blue has become an emblem of hope and a visual reminder of our collective prayer, “Come Lord Jesus.”
For twelve days Christians celebrate the wonder and mystery of the Word made flesh, the appearance of God among us in the birth of Jesus. Special liturgies occur on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In addition, we have two Sundays to celebrate, Christmas as well as the Day of Epiphany. The days of Christmas are filled with a kind of joyful exuberance. It is a time to feast and make merry for the good news is that God’s saving grace is near and made tangible in Jesus, God with us.
Advent Evening Prayer on the Ridge
This year we will join other Lutherans “on the ridge” for shared midweek Advent services. Please come for Advent prayer on Thursday evenings with our sisters and brothers at Luther Memorial Church and St. John United Lutheran Church. Each service begins at 7:00 p.m., followed by a reception. Here’s the schedule and themes:
Dec. 2 – Luke 1:68-69 at Luther Memorial (13047 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle)
Dec. 10 – Isaiah 2:2-6 at Phinney Ridge Lutheran (7500 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle)
Dec. 17 – The O Antiphons at St. John United (5515 Phinney Ave N, Seattle)
Advent Memorial Service
All are welcome to the Chapel on Sunday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. for the annual Advent Memorial Service. This service is especially for those who grieve the death of loved ones or feeling some sense of loss. The service will center on the promises of God and the light that the darkness cannot dispel.
Christmas Eve Worship
Join us on Christmas Eve for festive worship …
5:00 Holy Communion Family Service – Leading the proclamation of the good news of Jesus’ birth are the Children’s Choir and the Youth Choir. A very special service that lasts only one hour!
10:30 p.m. – Christmas Eve Music led by the Chancel Choir
11:00 p.m. – Christmas Eve Festival Holy Communion – The story of the Nativity from the Gospel of Luke is surrounded by candlelight and carols, echoing the words of the prophet: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. On them light has shined.”
Christmas and Epiphany Worship
December 25, 11:00 a.m. – Christmas Day Holy Communion – The Nativity of our Lord is celebrated around word and meal. John’s Gospel provides the focal point this day: “The Word became flesh and lived among us full of grace and truth.”
December 27 – The First Sunday of Christmas, Holy Communion at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. Our celebration of Christmas continues as we gather this morning for the Service of Lessons and Carols.
January 2 – The Second Sunday of Christmas, Holy Communion at 8:30 and 11:00. Christmas continues still with the unfolding mystery of the “Word made flesh,” God revealed among us in human flesh.
The Epiphany of our Lord, Wednesday, January 6, 7:00 p.m. – Our celebration of Christmas culminates with the celebration of the Epiphany at which time we will celebrate the beginning of a new ministry with the Installation of Pastor Van Kley.