Release and Let Go
I would like to begin my homily this morning by wishing all of you a very happy Second Day of Christmas. Did you know it was the second day of Christmas? You know, a lot of people mistakenly think that the 12 Days of Christmas that we sing about are the 12 days leading up to Christmas, but they're not. The 12 Days of Christmas are the days between Christmas and Epiphany, which is January 6, and which we're going to celebrate at next Sunday's service.
Moving With Mary's Song
Believe it or not, today is the only Sunday in the entire church calendar, where the Christian church puts its focus on Mary, Jesus's mother. And I always find that so surprising, because I think Mary is so important, not just in the life of Jesus, but in our own spiritual lives as well.
Well, as you can see, our nativity set is out. This beautiful nativity set was gifted to us several years ago by Reverend Vivian Love. And I'm so grateful to Jim Bailey from our art guild for getting it all set up for us yesterday. Thank you, Jim. And then this beautiful painting that's on the altar was created by our church member Paul Burdick, who's such a wonderful painter. And Paul gifted this to our church several years ago as well. We're so grateful for these images and depictions of the Nativity. And of course, there are so many beautiful and famous works of art over the centuries that depict the scene of Jesus's birth.
Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room
Well, as we've been mentioning, for the past few Sundays here, there are going to be hundreds of Afghan refugee families that are going to be resettled right here in Michigan in the coming weeks and months. And we at Douglas UCC have put together a task force in hopes of supporting and sponsoring one of these families. For as scripture instructs us, we are not only to welcome the stranger, but we are to provide aid and comfort to the foreigner that is in our midst.