(updated 11-28-23) “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” Isaiah 9: 2, 6-7 NRSV
This fall has flown by like a blur! Perhaps it is a trick of old age – I remember my father saying, “The days are long, the years are short.” I never really understood what that meant, but I may be starting to see. The rapid passing of these last months may also be amplified by the crucial decisions and changes that we have experienced together. As of November 15th, our Baldwinsville First United Methodist Church family is yoked in a multi-site ministry with Pennellville United Methodist and Liverpool First United Methodist Churches. It took a lot of work and dreaming outside of the box, but we are embarking together on a very exciting adventure! If you have questions about this new ministry, I would be delighted to explain more about it when you are available.
As we move into this season following Thanksgiving called Advent, it is easy to get distracted by all of the busyness and activities surrounding Christmas. I am in favor of enjoying all of the lights and festivities available – and with our three congregations sharing calendars, we will find even more opportunities to enjoy this Holy season.
I wanted to take this newsletter opportunity to ask you, and to remind myself, not to get so busy celebrating that we, that I, miss the real miracle of Christmas. The Creator of all things puts on flesh and comes to live among us as a baby! Amazing love!
The prophet Isaiah foretold this incarnation here in Isaiah 9. You may find these verses used in Christmas cards – ask me when you see me in church, and I will explain to you my unhappiness with Hallmarks abbreviation of the prophets words. Read them over again and contemplate the enormity of this promise. “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Do you see it? This baby Jesus is the Mighty God! The Everlasting Father! Think about that when we sing – “What Child Is This?”
Come and join us for worship at 9am Sunday morning for our Heritage worship service featuring our choir and familiar hymns. On Christmas Eve we will worship at 9am, 5pm with our children’s service, 8pm with our choir and our traditional service and finally at 10pm for communion. Plan to come and join us – we’ll save you a seat! Serving Christ with You, Pastor Bill Mudge