God With Us

As we approach Christmastide the church’s thinking turns toward the Incarnation. The church turns toward the miracle of Christ’s presence as an infant child. He took up residence among us, in the midst of his creation. 

The very fact of the Incarnation, the very fact of Christmas, is a powerful affirmation of God’s goodness and his love for and desire to redeem us and the world we inhabit.  We are reminded that God, out of costly love, has identified with us in a radical way. Far beyond a sentimental story, the Christmas proclamation of God become human is a vital and life-giving word of hope in the midst of our broken and anxious world. A word that declares that our world is not alone, is loved, and is being made new, in Christ, the babe in the manger.

In line with the truth of the Incarnation this Sunday we will be gathering at four homes throughout Austin. Rather than gather at the PEC for corporate worship we will celebrate the Eucharist in these homes. Go here to find a host location and connect with an organizer. We will bear witness to Christ’s presence in us, and in the midst of our neighbors, among the places we live, shop, work, commute, etc.  I am praying that these gatherings will be marked by warm hospitality, deepening friendships, and a profound sense of God’s presence with us in our everyday, local environments.  I’m looking forward to what might come from this Sunday as we look toward us gathering regularly in our neighborhoods in January (more on that to come), and I’m looking forward to worship all together again on the 20th!

I’m also looking forward to celebrating the Incarnation together on the evening of Christmas Eve. In each home where we are gathering this Sunday, you’ll find invite cards for Christmas Eve, please take a few and invite a friend to this celebration!

In joyful hope,

Ps. I have been reminded of joy of the Incarnation these past days of Advent through the music of Tom Wuest. Every Advent I rediscover the Advent songs from his album “Rain Down Heaven”, and they press on me again the beautiful wonder of the meaning Christmas. I commend these songs to you!

Peter Coelho