PENNSYLVANIA SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE
OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
Emanuel
United Church of Christ

2628 Fillmore Street, Philadelphia, PA  19137
"A Warm, Welcoming Church in the Heart of Bridesburg"
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Pastor's Page


Dear Friends -

"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever." The Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord…..Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." And the child's father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, "This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed--and a sword will pierce your own soul too." Luke 2:22, 25-35
"‘


We love the imagery of Christmas, the decorations, the carols, the manger scenes, the beautiful greeting cards. We love the image of the baby Jesus in the manger, with his adoring parents nearby, surrounded by sheep and goats and shepherds and wise men. These images bring back so many warm memories of Christmases past, the Christmases of our childhood and Christmases today with our children and grandchildren.

We love the Christ child. The Christ child is adorable and unthreatening. But the baby will grow up, will start to ask questions about why things are as they are and to dream of how things can be. The baby will grow up to instruct, to inspire. The baby will grow up to make demands on our time and on our lives.

The Trappist monk Thomas Merton wrote these words:
Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for Him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because He cannot be at home in it, because he is out of place in it, and yet He must be in it, His place is with those others for whom there is no room. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, tortured, exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world. (Thomas Merton, Raids On The Unspeakable)

May we at Emanuel Church make room for the Christ child – and for those others for whom the world has no room, among whom the Risen Christ is to be found.

See you in church!

Pastor Dave





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