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Reflections

Welcome to the JCPC Daily Reflections Blog. Reflections are daily devotionals authored by JCPC pastors, staff and members and provide insight, guidance and comfort to help you make it through each day. If you’d like to receive Reflections each day via email,  provide your email address.

Monday, December 07 2020

Longings


Advent 2020 finds many Americans longing to attend worship services, but their church doors are closed due to the pandemic. This time last year we couldn't have imagined such a thing. At JCPC we are all grateful for the creative energy our leaders have poured into meeting the practical challenges of the Covid 19 crisis, including providing meaningful on-line and parking lot worship. Yet, we long for our sanctuary. 


We aren't the first to experience this, however. After the French Revolution in 1789, church doors in France were closed, too. Granted it was for political reasons, not a health crisis, but even the midnight mass on Christmas eve and church nativity scenes (crèches) were banned. In an effort to keep their religion and traditions going, people started meeting quietly in their homes and crafting small versions of nativity scenes, particularly in the Provence area in southern France. Soon an industry was born that continues to this day. The artisans who used to make the very large life-sized nativity figures for churches and wealthy chateau owners poured their creative abilities into making "les santons" or "the little saints" of Provence, now in miniature. 

 
As we take our Advent walk to Christmas this year, may we be reminded of the many blessings that surround us daily. May we unpack our nativity scenes and crèches with the same joy we always have, even if our personal gatherings and celebrations might be on a smaller scale. May we be mindful of those families who are dealing with loss this Christmas season and pray for them that they will feel the presence of Christ in their lives, bringing them tidings of comfort and joy. May we all remember that the celebration of the birth of our Savior is about what takes place in our hearts and minds, not our buildings. May we all rejoice!

 

Prayer for Today

 

O come, O come, Emmanuel,

And ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lonely exile here,

Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.
 

O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high,

And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

And death's dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

Posted by: AT 03:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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