December 22, 2020 Advent

Greetings Advent travellers.


With the news this week from Premier Ford there are so many mixed feelings it’s hard to put a finger on just one.  Sorrow, confusion, fear, overwhelm and perhaps so much more.


Then, the news that Christmas Eve will bring lots and lots of rain and possibly the freezing kind. Plans are holding well right now. We’ll see how the day goes.  This is the very real and earthly reality.


My first Christmas in Ministry was during  the last big ice storm that hit the GTA and area, December 2013.  All my plans and nervousness of the first Christmas came to an end when the ice storm and damages caused power outages and church steps that were not manoeuvrable. 


There are many reasons worship services are cancelled.  However, being Christians is not cancelled.  As followers of Christ we know what we have to do.  
We give.  We love.  We shed light in the darkness.  We read the scriptures and sing our carols – in the safety of our homes. In these seemingly bleak times may we find the light of Christ in our hearts to shine for one another. Enjoy this familiar carol.  

We are one – in Christ.  Through rain, or snow or – well you know how that goes.  


Worship on dear Advent travellers.  Worship on.
Barbara

December 21, 2020 Advent

The longest night is upon us. 


The last couple of days have been pretty dreary.  Cloud cover and rain or snow have been par for the course.  The earth needs rest and recover. I believe we do as well.  

We continue to wait – for the return to light and for the light of the world that is Jesus.  There is hope in the darkness; peace in our waiting; joy in our anticipation; and love that comes within the light.


Today is a day to hunker down and embrace the darkness.  Find comfort in the slower pace of winter and in the lock-down to come. There will be lots of time to get busy in our lives.


We are blessed to be a blessing. Be the light of the world that you truly are.
Pastor Barbara

December 15, Advent

The sun is shining, the grass is green….well not so green here in Denbigh. 


The song came to me this morning as the sun decided to peak for a few moments.  Those moments were rather nostalgic for me – thinking of Christmases past and of family gatherings.  The old artificial trees with the glass ornaments.  Everything shimmered in the sparkling lights.


I wonder how Mary felt as the baby kicked.  How did Joseph feel when he first heard the news?  Perhaps they both thought back to previous Hanukkah celebrations.  They might have looked forward to the next steps on their journey to Bethlehem.


Is there something, a song or old movie, that brings you back to those sentimental thoughts?  What sort of rememberings will you bring forward as the year closes?  A new song? A new story? 

 
Take a few more steps today and pack a memory in your luggage for this year’s journey to the cradle.

December 14, 2020, Advent

Well it happened.  I finally found the creche I was looking for.  And yes, it brought joy.  More on that next weekend.


We search for so many things.  That special gift, the $10 you knew was in your pocket, the last cookie all get out attention more so this time of year.

I’ll keep this short this evening.  What are you looking for?  Something extra for Christmas?  Something to add to your Advent journey?


Maybe Christmas isn’t just at the end of our Advent adventure but each and everyday that we celebrate the love of Christ.

Keep searching – there’s something to be found in every day.
Blessings, Barbara

December 13th, Advent

Happy Joy Day!


The third Sunday of Advent is when we light the pink candle and celebrate the joy that Mary felt on hearing about the gift she would be bringing to the world.
“My soul magnifies the Lord”, she sang.


What song does our heart sing? Today? This month?


Today I remember my Dad – this would have been his birthday. He brought me so much joy – including the gift and love of music.   He began life with many difficulties, some of which needed surgeries at a very young age.  Think back to 1934 and what the practice of medicine looked like then.

Move forward to the medical advances today.  I am thankful for those who are healing, and lift up those who await treatments.  Is this part of JOY? 

Today I search for all the things that bring me joy. 

What about you?

December 10, 2020 Advent

We continue with mystery today – the mystery of love.


Do you have a favourite love song?  You know the kind, that brings back those warm fuzzy memories and thoughts of love?


One of my favourite hymns about love is “Love divine, all loves excelling. Joy of heaven to earth come down.”


We don’t often think of this hymn as a Christmas song but the first line says it all -“joy of heaven to earth come down.”


Does your favourite Christmas carol speak about love OR does it emote those feelings of love? I’d love to hear what favourites come to mind.


Blessings of love,

Pastor Barbara

December 9, 2020 Advent

Colossians 2:2-3
New Revised Standard Version
2 I (Paul) want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Holy mystery.  Hidden treasures and knowledge.How often do we ponder the holy mystery that is Jesus?  


I think the greatest mystery is in the unconditional love given to each of us through the person, Jesus of Nazareth.  Do we include thoughts and prayers of love during our Advent practices?


Christmas is all about love.  What better way to celebrate this love than to share this love in and during our preparations.


There’s no mystery in the fact that December 25th comes every year or that carols are heard and sung throughout the month. Presents are purchased and wrapped, trees and homes are decorated, and baking smells so sweet and wonderful.  The mystery, the Holiness is how we approach the manager; the life of Jesus.
Join me in celebrating this Holy mystery.
Pastor Barbara

December 8, 2020

Through the storm.


As we search for peace do we remember that God is with us through the storm, through the turmoil?

Finding peace while we battle the voices inside us that say we are not good enough, strong enough, bold or brave enough, is not an easy task.

Perhaps that is one reason we have an Advent time. We can hold on to the quiet, peaceful moments of Advent.  This year we are faced with a storm but also faced with crucial decisions that help us through to the next stages of our lives.

We can choose to avoid Advent activities but Advent is with us in this time before the stable and the manger. 

Advent – advancing, moving forward.
Take the next steps you need. God is with you.

Pastor Barbara

December 7, 2020

Advent Reflection

Another week has begun.  Another round of news releases about COVID, lock-downs, and the vaccine.


How do we keep peace in our hearts, our lives, when the outside world is no longer what we expect it to be or wish it was?


This is the time we dig deep – deep into our hearts and our faith.

From Psalm 31

…but I trust in you O Lord;I say, “You are my God”My times are in your hand;  ….Let your face shine upon your servant;   save me in your steadfast love.


We rest safe in the arms of the Divine knowing that peace comes when we rest.
May you find peace this day and always,

Pastor Barbara