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Sundays at Harvard-Epworth
Communion Service at 9:00 AM
Christian Education at 10:00 AM
Worship Service AT 11:00 AM IN-PERSON AND on Youtube
What is Harvard-Epworth all about?
Harvard-Epworth is a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network and welcomes all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, ability, marital status or financial condition.
A Message from Rev. Mitch Hay
This Advent season, I re-learned something about Christmas: I am not responsible for it!
Let me clarify: As one who is privileged to co-pastor here at Harvard-Epworth Church, I have, of course, some responsibilities this season to help create Christmas worship services that are meaningful and won’t put people to sleep unnecessarily. But I rediscovered an important reality– Christmas itself will come despite anything I do or don’t do! Ultimately, the whole Christmas process is entirely God’s doing!
As I’ve been reading the biblical Christmas stories this season, I’ve been struck by how quietly un-busy Mary was, how few projects she was frazzled with while participating in the incarnation of Love in the world. With the exception of going “hurriedly” to be with her cousin Elizabeth, her preparation for Jesus’ birth seems to move with the slow purposefulness of bread rising. While young Mary gave a heavenly messenger a courageous “Yes!” to God’s unexpected movement in her life, the rest of the Christmas process was entirely God’s doing.
So this has made me wonder– perhaps everyone’s Christmas process is entirely God’s doing as well?
Could it be that Christmas will come even if we don’t host the perfect party? Could it be that Christmas will come even if we don’t scurry for the perfect gift? Could it be that Jesus will be born even if the pastor isn’t complaining about the commercialization of Christmas? After all, even the Grinch (speaking of secularizing influences!) found he couldn’t stop Christmas from coming– “it came just the same.”
Loretta Ross-Gotta wrote these challenging words for us harried post-modern folk:
Jesus observed, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Yet we act, for the most part, as though without us God can do nothing. We think we have to make Christmas come, which is to say we think we have to bring about the redemption of the universe on our own. When all God needs is a willing womb, a place of safety, nourishment, and love.
So, if I have any pastoral advice for the season, it is just this:
Take time each day, like Mary, to feel God’s presence grow and kick inside you. Sing a quietly out-of-tune Christmas carol to Jesus. Pray not as a duty but as a gift. Read the Christmas stories in Luke and Matthew.
Perhaps, come Christmas Eve (and it will come!), we can each give birth, not to holiday exhaustion, but to a renewed presence of Jesus in our lives and in the world.
Wishing you a Most Meaningful Advent.