A Message from Pastor Kaji

December 21st,2023 Categories: Weekly Letter
Dear Church:
Christmas is upon us and I am thrilled! The sanctuary is ready for you and our guests. Our readers are prepared, the lessons have been selected, [some of] the homily is written, the music is chosen and rehearsed, the candles are trimmed and we are…thrilled and ready. 

Please do take a moment to reach out to our staff to thank them for the incredible work they have done to get us here. They put so much love and care into their vocations at this church and it is a privilege to serve with them. 

This year, I have been thinking about the holy family’s journey to Bethlehem as a metaphor for our own faith. What about their trials and deliverance is reflected in our lives? I encourage you to consider this as you prepare your heart and mind to receive the Christ child anew. 

Christmas Eve’s Service of Lessons and Carols this Sunday will begin promptly at 11 am. Bring a friend! We cannot wait to see you and to encounter Emmanuel – God with us. 

Also, do know that our staff will be taking their customary time off in the week after Christmas. The office will be closed and the newsletter will pause until the first week of January. 

Pax, Christi, 
Pastor Kaji


Luke 1:26-38 (Year B, p. 14):

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee, Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the name of the virgin was Mary. 28 And the angel came to Mary and said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Most High God is with you.” 29 Now, she was troubled by the angel’s words and pondered what sort of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Sovereign God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his sovereignty there will be no end.” 34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have not known a man intimately?” 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit, She will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the one born will be holy. He will be called Son of God. 36And now, Elizabeth your kinswoman has even conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for she who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the woman-slave of God; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 2:1-20 (Year B, p. 17):

1 Now it happened in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered (for taxation). 2 This was the first registration and occurred while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 So all went to be registered; each to their own towns. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, for he was from the house and heritage of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was betrothed and who was pregnant. 6 So it was, that, while they were there, the time came for her to birth her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and swaddled him, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 Shepherds were in that region there staying in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Most High God came upon them, and the glory of the Living God shone around them, and they were greatly terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Fear not. Look! For I proclaim to you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 For there is born to you this day a Savior who is the Messiah, the Sovereign God, in the city of David. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby swaddled and lying in a manger.” 13 And immediately there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly array, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among peoples whom God favors!”
15 And it happened when the angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to be, which the Sovereign God has made known to us.” 16 So they came hurrying and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. 17 Now seeing this, they made known what had been spoken to them about this child. 18 And all who heard marveled at what was spoken by the shepherds to them. 19 But Mary preserved all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, it was just as it had been told them.

Colossians 1:15-20 (Year B, p. 23:

15 Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him all things in the heavens and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 Jesus himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 Jesus is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have preeminence in everything. 19 For in Jesus all the fullness of God was well pleased to dwell, 20 and through Jesus God was well pleased to reconcile to Godself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

John 1:1-14 (Year B, p. 23):

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The Word was with God in the beginning. 3 Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word not one thing came into being that came into being. What has come into being 4 in the Word was life, and that life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the bleakness, and the bleakness did not overtake it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was created through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 To his own he came and his own did not receive him. 12 But to all who did accept him, who believed in his name, he empowered to become children of God—13 that is, those who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of a human person, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of a parent’s only child, full of grace and truth.