Pastor’s greeting for 4th Sunday in Advent

Welcome to Chilmark Community Church.
We are happy God has led you to be with us.
Today is the fourth and last Sunday in
Advent. It is the Sunday before Christmas Day
– the Day of our Lor d’s Nativity. Our reading for the Psalm    and the Gospel both rejoice in the steadfast love of God for
his people. In t he Gospel reading, Mary rejoiced
and gave thanks for what God was doing through her.
She was troubled and perplexed when she learned
what was going to happen to her. She pondered, in
her heart, what sort of greeting the angel brought . Gabriel then said to her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor, David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom, there will be no end”.
(1:30 – 33)
During the months of October and November we spoke about BLESSINGS. I asked you to name the BLESSING God has given you. God gives gift s of BLESSING so we may use then
for God and for others. As we use our BLESSINGS for
God and others they grow and we are given even more
blessed in the process. The gifts of God ’s BLISSINGS
change our society and civilization. God is the first gift giver and the greatest gift giver. John 3:16  tells us that “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” St. Paul points out that it was “God who first gave, even while we were yet sinners.” It is God who gave us life. It is God who gave us the galaxies and the universe. It is God who gave us our mothers and our fathers, our children and grandchildren. God gave us all that we have
and are. Like Mary , are we willing, for God’s sake , to go beyond ourselves and to be used for the sake of the love of God ?
Christmas is a time of love and gift giving! Our p hysical gifts are symbols of our spiritual BLESSING and GIFT OF LOVE .
Christm as reminds us that it was God who first gave of God’s self. God gave Jesus, God’s only Son, and Jesus, in turn, gave himself and his life for us on a cross because he so loved us.
A BLESSED Christmas of LOVE to you and yours,
Ernest Belisle, Pastor


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