A Message from Pastor Kaji

December 7th,2023 Categories: Weekly Letter

Dear Church:

“…and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care.” 

This classic quote from The Night Before Christmas reminds me of all of the great preparations we make to celebrate Christ’s birth. Acts of service, presents, garlands, lights – you name it, tradition in this season calls for preparation. 

One manner of preparation in our community is to pick up a present card in the fellowship hall. Thanks to Bonnie English and the SoulFood Fellowship’s coordination with our sister church, we have children who have recently arrived from the border for whom we have the opportunity to purchase a gift. If you can, please pick up a card and bring in the child’s unwrapped present to the church before December 18. What a beautiful opportunity to prepare for a child’s delight. 

This Sunday’s text invites us to consider the matter of *spiritual* preparation. As you get ready for worship, I invite you to consider what preparations you might need to make as you ready yourself for the next phase – a deepening – of your spiritual life? And: is there anyone in your life you feel called to support in their preparations? 

I know that I’ve said the word “prepare” so much in this letter. With intention. It’s that important. 

I can’t wait to see you in church. 

Pax, Christi, 
Pastor Kaji

Mark 1:1-13 (Year B, p. 3):
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, [the Son of God].
2 As it is written in the prophets,
“Look! I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way of the Holy One,
make straight the paths.’”
4 John the baptizer was in the wilderness proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And people from all the Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him and were baptized by him in the River Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was wearing camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He proclaimed, “There is one coming after me who is more powerful than am I; whose sandal thongs I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you in water; but that one will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.”
9 And it was in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was rising up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you am I well pleased.” 12 Then the Spirit suddenly drove Jesus out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and he was with the wild beasts, and the angels waited on him.