Tag Archive | jesus christ

Pastor’s Post for December

Pastor’s Post:

Here we are, once again at the beginning of the liturgical year. I suppose it was the rhythm of the agricultural world in the northern hemisphere, the world that most of our ancestors inhabited until the last one or two centuries, that dictated that the drama of salvation would be played out in our worship during the winter months. For it is between now and Easter in the spring, that the lectionary takes us through the scriptures of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection. In the old days, people had more time during the winter for the special holidays and feasts associated with the readings, while the earth slept and there was no sowing, growing and reaping.

It has become something of a tradition for pastors to sermonize against the materialism of modern Christmas. We all must admit that things have certainly gotten way out of hand in terms of the “getting and spending” that characterizes our Decembers. Our domestic economy is more or less built around the business that this special holiday generates. Long ago, Christmas became “secularized” so that millions of people who don’t worship or respect Christ celebrate it for all kinds of reasons. The beloved story, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens was, in fact, a powerful statement of how Christmas can be viewed as a moment in which the innate charitable impulse that lies within most humans is brought to the fore and celebrated, all with no reference to Christ himself, or even God.

Maybe a way we can salvage the original meaning of Christmas this year is to start Advent with a reflection on the other man who is featured in this Scriptural story, that being John the Baptist. Now, we know far less about John than we do about Jesus, but what we are told suggests that he was about as anti-materialist as you can get.

He was the son of a priest, and early in his life he took to an ascetic existence, residing for extended periods in the wilderness, learning to live like an ancient “hunter-gatherer,” a way of life that had more or less disappeared long before the time of Christ. So far as we can tell, his ministry was similar to that of a Baptist country preacher in the U.S. a century or so ago. He preached fire and brimstone, he called people to repent, and he baptized. The Bible does not attribute miracles to John—he wasn’t a healer so much as a disturber. You could say that he prepared the way for Christ by disturbing the complacency of the people, opening them to the possibility of a new way of understanding their relationship to God and to each other. That new relationship would be based on forgiveness and love, and we continue to celebrate it with the generosity of Christmas.

Maybe our time needs a new generation of disturbers, so that we might better appreciate the love in which God holds us in spite of our sinfulness. Old complacencies need to be challenged before the amazing news of God’s grace can be fully appreciated. “We should think of Advent as a time to disturb as well as to celebrate.”

 

Pastor Lou

Hanging of the Greens – Saturday, December 2nd at 10am – Massapequa

Please join us on Saturday, December 2nd at 10am for the Hanging of the Greens at the Massapequa Church. Volunteers are needed.  Please contact Sharon Slade if you can help decorate the Massapequa Church.

 

HangingGreens (1)

Advent Worship Schedule

advent candle

Advent Worship Schedule – Sunday Morning Worship Services at 10am

December 3, Celebrate the First Sunday of Advent, December 3rd – hosted at the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown.

December 10, The Second Sunday of Advent – Communion & the Giving Tree hosted at the Presbyterian Community Church of Massapequa.

December 17, The Third Sunday of Advent – Cantata hosted at the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown.

December 24, The Fourth of Advent we will put the Crismons on the Christmas Tree at the Presbyterian Community Church of Massapequa at the 10am worship service.

Supper at Six – Sunday, October 15 – 6pm

Church Supper

Supper at Six, Sunday, October 15th. Dinner is from 6-9pm Families, Singles and Friends are all invited to join the Massapequa and Levittown congregations for Sunday Supper at Six. We will meet in the Massapequa Fellowship Hall.

Each person or couple is asked to bring a potluck dish. we will again conduct our wild and crazy gift swap. Please bring a wrapped gift that is valued at no more than $10. The gift can be purchased or be a re-gift.  We will again conduct our wild and crazy gift swap.
Joe and Joan Tischner and Ralph and Ruth Dettman will provide the setup, beverages and desserts for this dinner.

Please RSVP to Joan and Joe Tischner.

Join us at the Gathering Sundays at 11:30am

 

the-gathering-formal-worship

The Gatherings will meet Sundays after coffee hour.

 

Starting Sunday, September 10 11:30-12:15. 

 

 This year the goal is to provide an opportunity for members to talk about their faith and grow in their individual walk with God.  With this goal in mind, this is the proposed format for the upcoming year.  Stella and Janice is alternate leadership of The Gathering.  Stella will lead the Gathering at the Levittown Church on the first and third Sunday’s of each month.  Janice will led the Gathering at the Massapequa Church on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.

 

Janice will lead a special activity on the Fifth Sunday of October.  Activities for the remaining fifth Sundays of the year will be announced as they occur.

 

 STELLA

 

The sessions led by Stella will focus on centering prayer and meditation.  Some Yoga may be included in her sessions.

 

JANICE

 

Janice will lead a book study on: Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World,by Henri J. M. Nouwen.  Books will be made available for purchase for all those who chose to participate.

 

 The following is the information on the back cover of the book:

From the Back Cover
“All I want to say to you is, ‘You are the Beloved, ‘ and all I hope is that you can hear these words as spoken to you with all the tenderness and force that love can hold. My only desire is to make these words reverberate in every corner of your being – ‘You are the Beloved.'” This personal witness to a God who calls us the Beloved is the fruit of a long friendship between journalist-writer Fred Bratman and Henri Nouwen. Henri is trying to respond to Fred’s concern to live a spiritual life in the midst of a very secular world. A remarkable aspect of this book is that while Henri writes to a personal friend, he in fact found a language that speaks clearly and convincingly to all who search for the Spirit of God in the world. Here is a ringing affirmation that everyone is loved by God and can enjoy “the life of the beloved”. It reveals the wonders of the spiritual journey and renews the fire of faith.