Sweet De­cem­ber

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - COLUMN - BOB BUTT

Around our church fam­ily in re­cent years I have heard the phrase, “Sweet De­cem­ber.”

The phrase comes from the Karen peo­ple of Burma, many of whom have come to Canada as refugees be­cause of per­se­cu­tion in their own coun­try. Some of these sweet peo­ple are in our church fam­ily at Cal­vary.

The Karen peo­ple are mainly Bap­tist in a coun­try that is only about four per cent Chris­tian. De­cem­ber is such an im­por­tant month for the Karen peo­ple that they stay up all night on Nov. 30 singing and wor­ship­ping God to wel­come in the month which marks the birth of Christ. And through­out the month, groups would go about the vil­lages singing Christ­mas car­ols.

In Canada, our church does some­thing sim­i­lar. We cel­e­brate Ad­vent. Ad­vent is that four-week pe­riod that leads up to Christ­mas on Dec. 25 when we cel­e­brate the birth of Je­sus into the world.

We be­lieve he was born of the vir­gin Mary, and in the most hum­ble man­ner was wrapped in swad­dling cloths and laid in a manger be­cause there was no room for them in the inn. Je­sus is Em­manuel which means, “God with us.”

De­cem­ber is no or­di­nary month for us who be­lieve, for even the cold and dark­ness is il­lu­mi­nated with light and warmth by the Son of God. As it is writ­ten, “The peo­ple who walked in dark­ness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” (Isa­iah 9:2)

He who is the light of the world il­lu­mi­nates sweet De­cem­ber for us. And through faith in Je­sus we are filled with joy, hope, him.

I am so thank­ful for the many churches in Moose Jaw who con­tinue to cel­e­brate Ad­vent to­day and hold up the stan­dard of thank­ful­ness for the birth of our lord and only saviour Je­sus Christ.

Ad­vent will be cel­e­brated en­tirely in De­cem­ber this year with the first Sun­day of Ad­vent be­ing on Dec. 3, which is to­mor­row. This will be a spe­cial Sun­day for us at our 11 a.m. ser­vice at Cal­vary Bap­tist Church. We will have our sanc­tu­ary all dec­o­rated, the chil­dren will be pre­pared to love and peace in en­act a na­tiv­ity scene dur­ing the chil­dren’s time, and we will sing Christ­mas car­ols like Come, Thou Long-Ex­pected Je­sus, and O Come, O Come, Em­manuel.

After the ser­vice at noon we will also have our In­ter­na­tional Christ­mas Ban­quet. Con­sider your­selves all in­vited.

P.S. I would like to thank the staff of the Times-Her­ald for giv­ing me the op­por­tu­nity to write so many ar­ti­cles for the faith page. I deeply ap­pre­ci­ate you all.

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