T’is the sea­son

The Amherst News - - FAITH - BY REV. DON MILLER FIRST BAP­TIST, AMHERST

Things are about to get ex­cit­ing here in Amherst.

Tonight is our town light-up. A spe­cial op­por­tu­nity to come to­gether as a com­mu­nity and wel­come in the hol­i­day sea­son. The town takes on a very magic qual­ity. Neigh­bours join with neigh­bours in the singing of fa­mil­iar car­ols, and the eyes of both young and old light-up along with our dec­o­ra­tions.

To­mor­row we wel­come Good Old Saint Nick as we cel­e­brate with our Santa Claus Pa­rade. Many dif­fer­ent peo­ple and or­ga­ni­za­tions do a lot of work be­hind the scenes in or­der to present a suc­cess­ful pa­rade. There are float builders, and mu­si­cians, and cos­tumed rev­ellers all work­ing hard to en­sure it’s suc­cess.

Over the next five weeks there will be lots of Craft Sales and Christ­mas Teas, Hol­i­day Bazaars and Bake Sales. Shop­pers will take to the streets and the stores will be filled with peo­ple try­ing to find the per­fect gift. Satur­day, Dec. 2, will see the re­turn of First Bap­tist’s pop­u­lar, Deck The Halls Christ­mas House Tour. Hun­dreds will go house to house like the Car­ollers of long ago. It is one of my favourite events. Such a pos­i­tive en­ergy ac­com­pa­nies the house tour.

Schools will be busy with con­certs. Of­fices will be busy with par­ties. Fam­i­lies will be busy with re­unions.

Churches will also be busy. And it will in­volve a lot of the above: singing, con­certs, can­tatas, shop­ping, bak­ing, crafts, and dec­o­rat­ing. But all of these things are just trim­mings for the main event.

For us, it’s all about Je­sus. He is the main event.

And just like ev­ery other birth­day — there will be things that help fa­cil­i­tate the cel­e­bra­tion. Bal­loons and cake and cards and stream­ers. They help ac­cen­tu­ate the party. But a birth­day would be no fun at all if the Birth­day Boy didn’t show-up. The same holds true for Christ­mas.

We are blessed to live in a town that takes ad­van­tage of ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate. It keeps us happy, ex­cited, and proud of the com­mu­nity in which we live. My par­ents of­ten say, “No­body can do it up like Amherst can.” This lit­tle town has a lot go­ing for it. There are lots of events planned and I hope you do your best to be in the cen­tre of it all.

My prayer for you this Christ­mas is that you will be ex­cited about the Beth­le­hem birth of hope and peace and joy. That you will make room, give thought, and spend time med­i­tat­ing on just what Je­sus means to you.

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