To the people of St. John’s Lutheran Church:
Grace to you and peace form God the Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. "A long time ago, a baby was born; and the Word of God became a wordless baby boy…” I wonder… if the story of God’s love is like a gift that we need to give to the future church… how are we boxing, preparing, wrapping, and presenting it to our children.
This year our confirmands are going to be telling the story of Christmas. They have been thinking and working with the story from St. Luke and St. Matthew to prepare to tell the mystery of Christmas to the people of St. John’s. They will need the help of all our children with the presentation but they will also need the words of parents and elders to encourage and give them permission to receive the story and make it their own. I wonder… How do we let our children know that we see them, we hear them, and we value them?
During these seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany we will be surrounded by things and people that will bring up memories and emotions we have collected along our way. This remembering is important. It keeps us grounded and sustains our faith. But the loving look back through time toward Bethlehem and the Holy Family must only be a lens through which we give our full attention to the present moment and contemplate our deepest hopes we have received for the future.
From time to time over these coming weeks, take a moment to be fully present and engaged with a young person in your life. Put the phone down, set aside your work, or turn off the television and really engage them. It may not be easy for either of you. We don’t practice this kind of communication much these days. But try it. Listen to them, play a game, go for a walk in the snow, tell them a story of your Christmas Past and ask them about their hopes for Christmas Future.
Yours in Christ,
The ELCA uses the three-year Revised Common Lectionary. The Vanderbilt University Library posts all weekly and special-occasion readings for the current year and the future.
Publications and other downloadable resources from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America