December 2, 2018 ADVENT I

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

United Methodist Hymnal – #211

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer

our spirits by thy advent here:


And so it begins. For the next month, children will make an extra effort to be good, except when they’re not. And those persons we encounter at the mall, in line at the grocery store or post office will be especially courteous, except when they’re not. And we will all be more patient and understanding with our colleagues, friends, families, and loved ones, except when we’re not. Recognizing the ease with which we can all get swept away in the details of the season, and the continuing quest for the perfect Christmas, we can lose sight of the real joys of the season. Our best memories are not usually the perfection we experienced in the most beautifully decorated tree, or the most succulent turkey. Rather, we cherish the pictures of Uncle John with a bow stuck on his head on Christmas morning, or the overturned bowl of mashed potatoes that the dog enjoyed before we had a chance to even salvage the top layer. The laughter we share around the tree or table is far greater, and of more value than even the most exquisitely wrapped gift. It’s almost as though the ninth century words of today’s carol were directed right at us, Dayspring. Come and cheer our spirits! It’s like the gauntlet has been thrown down. Are you ready to cheer the spirits of those around you, and those you encounter during the season. Emmanuel – God is with us!


“Behold, a Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel”, which means, “God is with us.”

MATTHEW 1: 23 


Gracious God, your challenge is accepted. We thank you for your faith in us, that we might be your representatives here on earth. Grant us your peace as we journey toward that most beautiful of days, remembering always that you dwell among us, alive in all we meet, both known and unknown.  Amen.


~Rev. L. Michael Kelley


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