December 23, 2020, Advent

Happy Advent.


Are you tired of the Christmas music yet?  When I opened up a Christmas playlist on Spotify this morning and glanced through the song titles I realized I had heard enough. *sigh


Christmas day is not even here and I’m already overloaded. Everything from our traditional carols to the down home, sappy holiday tunes that include Rudolph and White Christmas.


Here’s the thing.  If you enjoy Christmas music whether they are your favourite carols or the tunes from old movies, there are words that can “spark joy”. “Dashing through the snow” may bring memories of the past.  “Dreaming of a White Christmas” may be your theme.  Dream on.


What’s my point?  Whether the music you sing or hear is about the baby in the manger or chestnuts roasting, if they make you smile and feel love, then you could be connecting with love, the love of the Divine.


Music plays a  large part in many of our lives and celebrations.  Regardless of your favourite – sing on!  The joy and love of music also brings the spirit of Christmas.


Sing on!
Pastor 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

Advent Journey Home: December 20, 2020

Odd, but I’m feeling homesick.  Not which home but it’s the feeling deep inside; a longing for something from before.  It’s a feeling, a smell, or a sound.  I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

This song caught me in the heart today.

“I will sing you home”

We’re getting close. We pray for safety, bread for the journey, and love to sustain us.

Bethlehem is just around the corner.

December 18, 2020 Advent

Love is patient; love is kind; ” 1Corinthians 13


We walk into the week that is surrounded and filled with love.  Well, that’s the plan, right?


Patience seems to flee this time of year.  Perhaps we’re feeling like our last nerve is raw.  Where does love fit in our pictures?It shows in the kindness we show one another and in the moments when we count to ten and just breathe.  
Paul writes these words to remind the folk in Corinth of what love looks like.  Friends, the world still needs love and patience.  Each one of us needs this reminder too. 

 
To close today’s reflection from verse “Love never ends”.  Read that again.  If love never ends neither does patience, neither does God’s love for us.


Take a look in the mirror and tell yourself. “Love is patient; love is kind.”  Then shine a big, bright smile.  Feel silly?  That’s OK.  Just giggle and go on about your day, remembering what love is for you.
Blessings,Pastor Barbara

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 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

Small Enough

God, the Divine and Holy, is so big that there is no way to draw the outline or put this Spirit into a box.

I believe as well that God is small enough to rest within our hearts; small enough to be the still small of voice that speaks love and compassion.

We prayer to hear this voice whether big or small.

May we find those blessings that are hiding in the stillness and in the small parts of our lives.

Sabbath worship: Love and Urgency

We continue in faithful worship from the safety of our homes. Paul reminds us to love one another. This is what Christ calls us to do.

Thank you for your faithful support of St. Andrews, St. Lukes, and Emmanuel United Churches. We appreciate your continued prayers and all that you do to minister in the world. Please contact your treasurer or myself for ways to give financially during our time of sheltering in place. You are a blessing to all. Barbara