“Luke, Put Down Joseph!”

“Look, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” – Matthew 1:23 NRSV

Dear People of St. David’s,

Two weeks ago, during our Advent Wreath making party in the Undercroft, I was able to adopt a Nativity set that had been donated along with numerous others to St. David’s for folks to take home and enjoy. On that Sunday, I came home and Marissa and I constructed our Advent Wreath and set up the Nativity set on a ledge in our dining room. The whole gang was there: Baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, the Angel Gabriel, the magi, the shepherd, and a few sheep fill out the scene. It looked nice along the ledge. In addition to the Advent Wreath, this was the beginning of our decorating for Christmas.

There was one problem. Our newly adopted dog, Luke (that’s right, a second Szczerba family mutt), kept stealing the pieces! One after another: it was the magi first, then baby Jesus, and the straw that broke the camel’s back was when he broke the arm of Joseph. “That’s it,” I said to Marissa, “We are going to have to find a new spot for this Nativity set. Baby Jesus isn’t going to make it to Christmas if we don’t.”

So, there they sit, safely on a shelf in the kitchen that is high above the sight of our trouble making dogs. However, this had me thinking, specifically about the season of Advent and how we prepare for God to be with us. By now, I am sure most of you have decorated your homes with a tree, ornaments, stockings, etc. The decorating of our homes serves as a time of preparation. A time to remind us that God is with us in the season of Advent. When we look at our Nativity sets or the angel atop our Christmas tree, we are reminded of the presence of Christ. The presence of love that the Holy Family experienced on the first Christmas day and the presence of love we experience as a community here at St. David’s.

So, I encourage you to decorate! I encourage you to prepare for the presence of Christ, because on Christmas day, we will celebrate that God is with us.

See you in church.

Happy Advent!

The Rev. Thomas Szczerba
Associate Rector