The Rev. Scott Gould
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Joy to the world! The Lord is come!

Let earth receive her king!

Let every heart prepare Him room.

And heaven and nature sing!

 

Dear Friends,

 

The season of Advent is a time of preparation. In the deepest traditions of global Christianity, a time to prepare for the coming of Christ at the end of days, often thought of as the second coming. It’s focus is very much on the future. Remembering and celebrating Christ’s birth (Dec 25) and especially His Epiphany (Jan 6) very much serve this purpose of pointing us toward this future fulfillment of ministry of Christ on Earth.

 

For most of us though, Advent ends up being a time of preparation for Christmas. We all have an incredible amount to do both in our jobs and in our home life, and all of it seems so important! Preparing to celebrate can be a huge amount of fun! And for some of us, sometimes, it can tip over and begin to feel burdensome, the weight of tradition and expectation bearing down upon us. I often find these words of Jesus helpful at such times, perhaps you will too: “Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

 

It is an irony of our times that this turning to Christ may be for many of us the most difficult part of our preparations, the part we meant to get to but didn’t quite. Somehow we end up putting our spiritual work last. Tasks and preparations in the material world can feel so urgent. We’ve often promised them to loved ones and don’t want to let them down. We want to get that all done and then we’ll have some time to prepare our hearts. We all do it! Yet we, our loved ones, the world around us, and especially the mission of Christ can benefit so very much if we put even a little bit of this spiritual preparation in first place, before we do anything else, daily if possible. When we do that, everything else begins to come from that spiritual place inside us. “Let every heart prepare Him room!” This truly brings Joy to the World!

 

As we prepare our hearts in a spirit of gratitude for all that God has done to bring us together in a life of hope, peace, joy, and love please join me, my family, and our whole community of friends at St. Helen’s in making a special Christmas gift to Christ’s ministry here in the envelope provided. Please place it in the offering plate at one of the services, drop it by the office on a weekday morning Tues-Fri, or click here to make a gift through our web site.

 

Amid the many gatherings the season will bring, I especially hope you will come and join in worship here.  Bring friends and family! All are welcome! Service times are listed on the card enclosed with this letter.

 

May the God of infinite goodness bless you and your loved ones in every way this Christmas!

 

Sincerely,

The Reverend Scott Gould

Rector