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Advent & Christmas Reflection- joy and sorrows come together

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 by Fr. Mark in Blog&Christian Spirituality
Christmas is such a time of joy– and of anticipating joy! If you still have kids at home who are counting down the days, this is especially true.  Yet, perhaps because of my line of work, I am also mindful of a reality that has come up three times times in just the two months. The death of loved ones.  For so many of us, we are celebrating and spending time with family and friends. But for others, they are struggling with health issues, unwanted changes, and sorrow over the death of a loved one. For them, Christmas presents an opportunity to consider over what or for whom they still may give thanks. But it is hard to celebrate, even if it is what they desire. They still celebrate in their own way, but glee and cheer and rejoicing and singing simply come to them with burden and sorrows. “Making merry” isn’t the same when your heart and mind are weighed down by grief or anxiety.

“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born…” (Luke, ch. 2)
When I consider Mary & Joseph, I easily imagine the fear they must have felt, the burden of traveling in that circumstance and Mary giving birth to Jesus while away from home, family, and helping friends. We don’t know if anyone other than Joseph helped her deliver her baby. What a scary time!
We rightly rejoice, because we look back at what was done in Jesus’ birth– the love of God is so great that God becomes man to save his creation. We celebrate because the very life of God has been given to us- Jesus the Son of God- and because of God’s grace we are offered gifts of hope, peace through forgiveness, joy and love. We know God and he knows us. We are part of a forever family!
But here and now, even with such great news, we face sorrow as well as know joy. At this season, sometimes Christmas can remind us of that which we are missing rather than that which we have had or will have again. To those of you doing your best to move through this season to glean as much encouragement from it as you can, may the love of God be poured into you fully by the Holy Spirit and reach that deep place in your soul that feels the withering of hope. May you know moments of peace and joy. May the love of Jesus for you uplift and strengthen you. He came to the world for all our needs and all our struggles. Whatever yours may now be, know that he cares for you.
Christmas wasn’t always about happy parties and gifts. Indeed, Christmas has historically not been about that. Christmas began in sober judgment and purpose as God’s rescue mission to the world. For THiS we truly rejoice! May the gift you most embrace this year be the gifts of God’s thoughtful love and offer of adoption into his family.
Grace & Peace,

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About Our Church

Anglican Mission logoChrist The King Anglican Church embodies the Three Streams of the historic Christian Church: The Scripture (Evangelical stream), The Sacred (the Sacramental stream) and The Spirit (the Charismatic stream).   We are happy to belong to The Anglican Mission: A Society of Mission and Apostolic Works. The Mission.  The Mission began in December 1999, and it has been the leader in establishing new churches and ministries in an Anglican heritage across North America. In recent years, The Mission has grown to include many overseas works, including The Anglican Mission: India.

We’re committed to believe and trust Jesus Christ, to be directed by His Spirit, and to trust in His Holy Scripture as our standard in matters of faith and practice. Everyone who is at Christ the King now was once a visitor and decided to make this his or her church home. We hope you will consider making the same decision! If you are interested in church membership or more information, please call the church office at (408) 770-2260.


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