. . . whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. - Matthew 20:26b-28, NIV
This past Sunday, we did something that, on the surface, may have seemed to have very little to do with Advent or Christmas. We elected elders. Many of you nominated a number of very qualified candidates. Your Elder Nominating Committee worked hard to present six individuals (five adults and one youth) who agreed to serve, if elected, in the coming years. You probably remember that elders serve for three years on our Session, while our youth elder serves one year. They provide spiritual leadership and seek to discern the leading of God's Spirit in the decisions they make. We are blessed to have elected a fine group of nominees. They are Joseph Cunningham (youth), Rebecca Eldridge, Bill McLeish, Alice Ann Nilsen, Jaywanth (Jay) Winfred, and Rick Zellmer. They each bring life experience, both inside and outside of the church, which will enrich our Session in the coming years. Thank you to everyone who nominated individuals to serve as elders at JCPC.
I began by saying that electing elders has very little to do with Advent and Christmas, but on further reflection, that may not be the case. Each one of these individuals who is being asked to serve as an elder is doing this not because they are seeking elected office. They are not doing it because they have some inordinate need to exercise power in a church organization. They are doing it because God came two thousand years ago in the form of a child whose birth we celebrate this season of the year. They are doing it in response to the call of God upon their lives to be servant leaders of this church, so that we can spread the good news of God's love in Jesus the Christ. So maybe what we did this past Sunday in electing elders really does have a lot to do with Advent and Christmas!