A Shadow Over Christmas

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

Dear St Andrew’s Members & Friends,

We have made it to the end of 2020 and we look forward with HOPE to the New Year. We hope that the covid vaccines beginning to be distributed will eventually end the “stay at home” shut downs and we will once again be able to freely gather, — with friends and family, with our church family, and even with strangers.  How we look forward to that!  We see light at the end of the tunnel.

But health experts warn that we still face many more months of hardship and death from this pandemic, so masks, social distancing, and stay at home restrictions are still needed.  There is a shadow over our celebration of Christmas this year.  So this is an opportune time to read the part of the Christmas story that we often avoid.

This Christmas season we have read Luke’s story of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, wrapped in bands of cloth and laid in a manger, greeted by humble shepherds, and Matthew’s story of the mysterious Magi from the East who followed the star and brought the newborn King gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These parts of the story we have no trouble celebrating; we tell and retell them each year, Our children re-enact them in Christmas pageants and play with them in the mangers we decorate our homes with.

But we tend to stop with the Wise Men dropping off their gifts and heading back home.  But Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus doesn’t end there.  It takes a dark turn.  My message for this first Sunday of the new year is A Shadow Over Christmas.  (Mathew 2:13-23) and includes some very special music.

Stay safe and well!

peace, Ernie