Advent and Christmas at Bristol UCC
Advent is a time of anticipation for what God will do to redeem and liberate God’s people. The Israelites suffered much in Old Testament days and the prophets spoke words of hope and promise to them on God’s behalf. God, in time, did act in their world and in their lives to fulfill the words spoken through the prophets. Later, when God had sent Jesus of Nazareth, God’s own child, to teach and live the embodiment of God’s love, the followers of Jesus read the prophecies of hope and promise and understood that those words referred to Jesus too.
As I prepare for this Advent season, I cannot help but hear the words to those in exile long ago and see before me the faces of people today whose lives may feel to them like exile and isolation – from God, from families and friends, from community, and from much that used to be considered “normal everyday life.” Come to worship this Advent season, in person, on Zoom, or watch the YouTube recording (uploaded by Monday AM), and hear the words of hope and promise. Light the Advent candles with us on Sunday mornings, or use the words from the bulletin to light them on your schedule at home. The December 19 service will be a celebration of Christmas Sunday. There will be special music, a children’s program, and the opening words of the gospel according to John (In the beginning was the Word…).
We are planning to hold Christmas Eve service in the sanctuary this year. Covid precautions will remain in effect. Masks will be required for all and seating will be limited. We understand that many will prefer to watch and participate from home. Since sanctuary seating will be limited, we are asking people to make reservations for the service in advance. Church members and friends may call or email the office beginning Monday, December 13. Be sure to give the name and how many people will be attending with you. After Monday, December 20, we will also take reservations from people in the wider community. We will take reservation until the available spaces are filled. We may or may not have room for walk-ins on Christmas Eve.
While our recent history may have included walking in darkness, we are promised a great light - Jesus Christ, God’s child, our Savior.