Joy for all the people (Luke 2:10)
One of the defining aspects of the Christmas story is that it belongs not simply to one family or one people: the joy is intended for all people. When the angel announces to Mary that she will bear a son, her joy bursts forth in celebration at all that God is doing for the poor and the oppressed (which, in those days, was pretty much everyone). While she’s pregnant, she’s accosted by strangers singing songs of gladness for the king whom she bears. On the night he was born, she’s surrounded first by animals (all of creation), and later by shepherds who are strangers, and lastly by kings from distant lands. Whereas most women bear their babies into the world surrounded and shielded by family members and close friends, this is no inside job. The birth of the Saviour is a shared, public event that creates word-of-mouth ripples throughout the community. And just in case we missed it, we have a choir of angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all people on earth!”
And so, of all times to invite your family members and friends and neighbours and co-workers to church, this is it.
To make it easy for you, we’ve printed postcards for our Christmas services for you to hand out. We’ll be mailing the postcards to our “great cloud of witnesses” – people who used to belong to St. George’s – to invite them to join us again this season. And we’ll have volunteers dropping the postcards around the neighbourhood and handing them out at the C-Train stations too. We’ve seen the beginnings of true regrowth at St. George’s this year, and we’d like to invite as many people as possible to attend our Christmas services. The postcards will be available in the Narthex this Sunday: take a stack and hand them out and make some personal invitations to the people in your life. It sure would be great if they’re so popular, we have to print more.
After all, the good news is for all the world – so let’s do our best to share it.