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Sunday School: Sunday School for all ages @ 9:00 am

Worship Service: Sundays @ 10:00 am
(Second & Last Sunday - Praise Service)


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Pastoral Thoughts

Grace and Peace be to you from Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I am excited about spending my first holiday season with St. Marks and Hagerstown! My family has already begun discussing the placements of decorations as well as how we will share the cookies that Megan successfully bakes this time of the year. One is Lebkuchen, a German gingerbread cookie that she and Katelyn cut in decorative shapes. I look forward to her shortbreads, from recipes handed down in her family generationally. I am even excited about having the luscious baked ham Megan works hard to make, including her glaze recipe. We get out wooden Advent calendars, placing chocolates in each day as we do special devotions to observe our time of Advent. We like putting up lighted trees, decorating them, and snowmen throughout the home to get in the mood for Christmas. Something is exciting about doing this for the first time in a new environment. Advent and Christmas can remind us of God’s grace daily. 

Why do we get so excited? For the most part, the planning is a part of the actual event or activity.  In essence, if we are not a part of the full fruition of the activity, we do not understand the gravity, magnitude, and effect it truly has on our souls.  In a society like ours that thrives from instant gratification, it is difficult for us, as people of God, to truly understand the importance of Christmas without the season of Advent.  Advent prepares us to see why our Savior is placed here on this earth and why we plan for His birth and return. I believe it is important to force ourselves in the process and focus on Advent to understand Christmas's validity- that our Lord and Savior's birth, life, death, and resurrection are not an overly saturated commercial by-product in our society.  

When we get so wrapped up in making the Christmas celebration appear before it happens in due time, we lose the perception of why we celebrate. Thus, we do not understand why some of us are moved to tears that a lowly babe born in a stable later becomes an adult who dies on the cross for us to have everlasting life. We quickly become “grinches,” believing this is only a time to spend money, hoping we get the “correct” gifts for family, friends, and loved ones.  For some of us, this can be a time of depression as we long for loved ones who have gone before us or who feel alone as we view others living in the joy and excitement this time of the year can bring.  

The season of Advent can assist us in seeing the value in Christ, reminding us of the love and the promise of life everlasting.  To prepare can mean the expectation that we will be with the whole church triumphant soon, that because of Jesus, God is there to console us and remind us of love as we reach out to all people, realizing we are never alone. The observance of Advent can help us see, from start to finish, the love of God.

I invite us all to come and worship this Advent and Christmas season.  Bring friends, and through the help of the Holy Spirit, we may, some for the first time, experience the importance of the Christ Child.  What a joy that can be!


Pr. Brian