Greetings from Chuckatuck on the first Sunday after Christmas and the last Sunday of 2019. The year draws to a close Tuesday and it has been a blessed year, with plenty of ups and downs, but one where we felt God’s presence consistently.

Today, as has been our habit for most of my tenure at St. John’s, we celebrated as the Festival of 9 Christmas Lessons and Carols. There is no “sermon” but the reflection of the day can be found in the opening of the Bidding Prayer: “let it be our duty and delight to hear once more the message of the Angels, to go to Bethlehem and see the Son of God lying in a manger. Let us hear and heed in Holy Scripture the story of God’s loving purpose from the time of our rebellion against him until the glorious redemption brought to us by his holy Child Jesus.” Sometimes we miss this in the busyness of Christmas. Today our lessons and carols tell a story of our salvation. Here are the groupings from today (pick some to read and contemplate – you will be rewarded):

Genesis 2:4b-9, 15-25    Come, thou long-expected Jesus
Genesis 3:1-15                The God of Abraham praise
Isaiah 40:1-11                 Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming
Isaiah 7:10-15                 O little town of Bethlehem
Luke 1:39-46                   Tell out, my soul
Luke 2:1-20                     What child is this, who, laid to rest
Luke 2:21-36                  Angels we have heard on high
Hebrews 1:1-12             We three kings
John 1:1-18                     O come, all ye faithful

May you continue to be blessed in your Christmas season.