December 29, 2017
The Fifth Day of Christmas
The Bible, more specifically the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is the greatest love story ever written! Unfortunately, so many people read the Bible as if it were the terms and conditions of a credit card agreement. In the middle of all those beautiful love verses, they hear only clauses and conditions and get all caught up in the idea the First National Bank of the Almighty is going to foreclose on their salvation if they break any of those conditions!
Thank goodness that Christmas comes around once a year to remind us that God isn't in the business of making a list, checking it twice, to figure out if we are naughty or nice, nor is He concerned about our status or position in life. If God were concerned about any of those things, then His Almighty Word would not have leapt down from heaven and been born into the squalor we find in the Christmas story in the second chapter of Luke’s Gospel.
Christmas is the beginning of a classic love story with all the right ingredients: infatuation, pursuit, risk, relationship. But, as in all relationships of love, there has to be the first meeting, a crossing of paths.
When I was a child, I remember asking "what if I had been adopted by another set of parents?” “What if Mom and Dad had picked the kid in the crib next to me?” The answer is that I would never have known the love of the parents I know and love now. And all because we crossed paths in the orphanage some 57 years ago.
Christmas is a crossing of paths. Christmas is where we find the Christ of God intersecting with humanity! Christmas is our first best meeting with the God who has desired us from the very beginning. If it weren't for Christmas we might never have known the intensity of the love that God has for us. It is the birth of that love into our world that we celebrate at this time. Who would have ever guessed that this crossing of paths, this intersection of the divine and the human, would take place so long ago in a remote, speck of dust village called Bethlehem of Judea? This is the time, in that little town, when God and humanity were joined as a bride and groom on their wedding day. This is the time when God sent out a love letter of cosmic proportions.
And all of us are gathered into the embrace of that Love and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, which can ever separate us from the Love of God given unto us in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And that, dearly beloved, is really the “bottom line” of what Christmas is all about.
Merry Christmas to all of you and I pray God’s peace, which passes understanding, may abide with you in the new year.
Yours ever in Christ Jesus,
A New Addition
You may have noticed this new addition in the Nave of the church. This hand-carved, Celtic-style cross was donated to the parish by Dave Hartig. It was a cross he had made for a church he was a part of years ago. That church has since closed and Dave was able to retrieve it for use here at All Saints. It is framed on either side by 2 Fra Angelico angel reproductions, which are believed to have been made in the 19th century. Thanks Dave!
We were "pleased as punch" to have Mark, Megan, Peyton, & Jack Klein surprise us when they showed up for the Family Eucharist on Christmas Eve. Their sojourn in Montana is over and they have returned to us. We are very excited that they are back--permanently!
Twelfth Night Party
· We will gather for the last night of Christmas next Friday, January 5 at 6:00 p.m. for a 12th Night Party. This is our parish Christmas party. Come celebrate the close of the season here at church. Please see, call or text Kathy Zwingert (828-620-1789) to let her know what goodies you can bring. We are looking for both savory and sweet!
· Simple Church calendars for 2018, showing all the days of our church year, are available in the entryway. They are $5.00.
Wednesday Bible Study & Fellowship Dinner
· Bible Study and Fellowship Dinner return this Wednesday, January 3, 2018. We turn to Chapter 7 in St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans.
Ladies Luncheon Rescheduled
· The Ladies of the parish have rescheduled their luncheon they missed because of the snow earlier this month. This event will be a “kick-off” the new year event with a brief meeting to start and the luncheon will immediately follow. It will be held here at the church on January 13 at 11:30 a.m. We hope to see all the ladies of the parish that day.
· Altar Guild will have their first meeting of 2018 at 10:00 a.m. on January 13. All members are asked to be in attendance. Please see Alice Owen if you are not able to make it that morning.
Hendersonville Rescue Mission
· A sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board for our work at the Rescue Mission for 2018. Please sign up for one of the Wednesdays we will be serving lunch in the coming year. The first Wednesday is on January 31.
· Western Carolina Rescue Mission in Buncombe County is this month’s recipient of our in-gathering of food stuffs.
Tuesday Book Study
· Book Study is on Christmas break and will return on January 9, 2018. C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters is our study book. It is very easy to jump in at any time. Join us! Please read Letters 18-20 over Christmas break.
Adult Sunday School
· Class will resume on Sunday, January 7.
Christmas Season Schedule
Sunday, December 31, First Sunday after Christmas
8:30 AM, Holy Communion
11:00 AM, Holy Communion
Monday, January 1, Circumcision of Christ
12:00 PM, Holy Communion
Wednesday, January 3, Tenth Day of Christmas
6:00 PM, Holy Communion
6:30 PM, Fellowship Dinner
7:00 PM, Bible Study returns
7:00 PM, Choir Practice
Friday, January 5, Twelfth Day of Christmas
6:00 PM, Twelfth Night Party
Saturday, January 6, Epiphany
12:00 PM, Holy Communion