Why do we come to church on Christmas?
Some of us are regular church-goers, but many are here only occasionally. Or this may be your first church experience. So why do we come, to do what so many human beings have done for so many centuries - to worship God? Why do so many of our paths and trails lead us to this place of prayer and celebration?
Looking for Spirituality
Of course, we have many reasons. Some of us may be here to please our parents, spouses, or others. All of us, I think, are seeking something - a connection with God. This is at the root of the tremendous resurgence of interest in spirituality. We are looking for spiritual roots, a spiritual home where we can experience a deeper dimension of life, a deeper sense of meaning - whether we call that "God" or not.
The Christmas event is so compelling because Jesus' birth marks God's entrance into human life - bridging the divide between human and divine. God comes very close to us - as close as a baby's cheek to his mother's. In Jesus, God enters into human life, so that we might enter into God's life.
Looking for Community
We also come to church looking for community - a family. We may (or may not) have a satisfying family life at home. But in any case, we need a family of friends, of souls with shared values and purpose in life. We want to walk the trail with others, to stretch and grow into full humanity, to live a life of meaning.
Looking for Tradition and Ritual, Hope and Peace
We also come to church - as humans have done from time immemorial - looking for ways to speak and enact the deepest truths of life. The beautiful atmosphere, beloved music, and ancient rituals of Christmas take us beyond what mere words can say. Through the sacramental elements of water, bread, and wine, we express our need for cleansing, nourishing, and spiritual renewal. When we light our candles, we profess our belief that a light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.
Whatever reasons have brought you to St. Dunstan's this Christmas, you are welcome here. Christ welcomes all who come to his table to partake of the bread and wine of Holy Communion. God bless you on your spiritual journey. We hope that St. Dunstan's will continue to be a part of your journey in 2017.
Many thanks to all who have made our Christmas celebrations so joyous -
the Flower Guild, Altar Guild, and all who helped decorate the church; our many dedicated musicians & their director, Dr. Michael Austin, Sue Von, Christian Formation Coordinator; Kimberly Matthews, Parish Administrator; and Solutions Services, our janitorial service.
We thank the many who contributed to the success of the new Children's Christmas Musical.
We are grateful also for the ministry of lectors and chalice bearers, acolytes, trail guides, greeters, and hospitality coordinators. Your tithes and offerings at year's-end are much appreciated, and we thank you for your pledge of support to St. Dunstan's for the year 2017.