Where Will Christ Show Up?

Where Will Christ Show Up?

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by Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter November 15, 2018

It’s Advent. It’s that time when we wait and prepare for the coming of the Christ child. In our waiting, we turn our attention to worship, celebrations, and preparations. By now we have strung lights, purchased and wrapped gifts, attended a few parties and concerts, and eaten our share of Christmas goodies.

We are edging closer to Christmas, and I wonder where and how have you experienced the presence of Christ in this holy season. Where has Christ shown up for you? You know our radical, unconventional Savior, often shows up in unexpected places.

In quiet spaces, Christ often slips in with a nudge to stop and share a bottle of water or a few dollars with the homeless man standing at the Spring Street exit. With a tug at our hearts, Christ shows up in the innocent faces of children as they process nativity characters and light candles. In moments of silence as we breathe in and out the mantra “come, Lord Jesus,” we feel our hearts beat with his presence.

Christ shows up in grocery stores, hospital rooms, and restaurants. He is felt in a hug or a handshake. He is seen in the flicker of firelight and heard in the melody of a song. Christ shows up and our responses are varied. Sometimes we don’t even notice. We miss him. We aren’t open to knowing or understanding how Christ comes to us. Is it because we are out of practice at recognizing him? Have we forgotten what he looks like and how he feels in our presence?

Our other response might be surprise – like we didn’t expect Christ to show up at all. We offer a prayer not really anticipating an answer. Healing takes place and we act surprised. We feel tears come to our eyes when we hear a carol or children singing, and we wonder where those tears come from. The word of God penetrates our hearts, and we didn’t even know we were really listening.

Christ said, “I am with you always.” Maybe he should have added, “so don’t be surprised when I show up.” Where will Christ show up for you in this season? It is a time of expectation, so expect a visit from the Christ Child. Expect the Messiah to invade your life in some way. Christ will show up if we open our hearts to him. He may come in ragged disguise or in a quiet whisper, but he will show up – expect it – hope for it – anticipate it!

Second Week of Advent

Second Week of Advent

My Christmas Sticky Note Lists

My Christmas Sticky Note Lists

by Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter November 15, 2018

As many of you know, I am the Sticky Note king. My desk and computer, yes, computer, are filled with sticky notes. These notes help me navigate through my days reminding me of all of the tasks I need to complete. Today’s sticky note says, “Write Enewsletter article this week”. So, that’s what I’m doing.

 Deacons

Deacons

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter November 8, 2018

This Sunday we will call seven people from the pews of Highland Hills to serve as deacons for a three-year term. The role of deacon arose in the first days of the early church as that community expanded the need for more servants arose so that all people could be served. Out of the many followers, seven were called.

Tikkun Olam and Blessings for the End of the World

Tikkun Olam and Blessings for the End of the World

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter November 1, 2018

Last week a gunman entered the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He shouted hateful rhetoric and killed worshipers in a 20-minute attack.

The world seems broken beyond repair. It’s enough to make you want to despair and disengage and not even try. The regularity of events like this desensitize us to the horror and seems to normalize their occurrence.

Everyday Costumes

Everyday Costumes

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter October 25, 2018

Leaves are falling, and the temperature is finally dropping, at least to "tolerable." In this season for fall festivals, carnivals, costumes, and capes, there are serious decisions to be made: what costume will I wear? Be glad we are in Georgia... Historically some towns have enacted Halloween laws. In Alabama, you might get cited for dressing in costume as a member of the clergy... So, no priest, nun, rabbi, or Jake costumes if you are visiting relatives in the Yellowhammer State.

On the Table Was No Joke

On the Table Was No Joke

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter October 11, 2018

A pastor, a rabbi, an Imam, a teacher, an inmate, an educator, a publisher, a CEO and a college student walk into a house of worship.That isn't the beginning of joke, but a report from this week's "On the Table" event. Highland Hills opened our Great Room to have a conversations that matters. Tables all around Macon gathered fellow citizens to a common table.

Hey Neighbor! Pull up a Chair

Hey Neighbor! Pull up a Chair

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter October 11, 2018

On Wednesday, October 17, our church family will participate in a community-wide gathering of friends and strangers around the tables in our Great Room. No, it won't be like our typical family night supper: you won't be at your typical table, you won't be sitting with your typical friends, you might have to introduce yourself to strangers. It will be different. Yet, at the same time, our "On the Table" partnership event will be all too typical of the kind of table fellowship Jesus offered to all people.