Friday, November 16, 2018

Advent Advice

Every year I urge you to resist the pressures of secular Christmas. I do not mean to say that you should make friends or family feel neglected, but that this is a time of year to remember the two sisters of Lazarus, Martha and Mary. Let us revisit that episode from the Gospel of Luke (10:38-42).

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

          Amid the busy-ness of Christmas, do not neglect your soul, neither the meaning of the season in which “the babe, the world’s Redeemer, first revealed His sacred face.” Do not let cares for many things prevent you from sitting at the feet of Jesus, both at home each day, and in His Church where His people are assembled. We celebrate in this season the love of God manifested. We see the Word made flesh, at once God and man, to save us from sin and death.
          I know that the ancient tradition of Christmas as part of the Church Calendar is not understood even by many modern Christians, especially here in the U.S. The word we use in English speaking countries, “Christmas,” comes from the words the Christ Mass. This draws attention directly to the Holy Communion and the celebration of it together in church. This year, like Mary, remember to choose that good part.

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