From the Pastor
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We have lived through a year that none of us will forget.
From the spread of Covid-19 to the close of a divisive political
season, we all look for that place where we can retreat.
I have been very intentional about some of my reading the past few
months. I love to read and to
hear about various Christmas stories and legends.
It fascinates me how someone can take something seemingly so simple
and weave a whole story around it.
This last week, someone shared with me a legend that I had not ever heard.
It is the legend of the Christmas spider. The legend states that when
Mary and Joseph left Bethlehem to escape to Egypt to keep baby Jesus safe
when Herod was after them, a spider overheard Joseph praying to God to keep
them safe. As they traveled,
Herod's soldiers came after them.
Mary and Joseph soon became exhausted traveling with an infant and trying to
outrun Herod's soldiers and looked for a safe place to hide. They found an
empty cave where they huddled in fear and prayed. A spider who lived in the
cave overheard their prayers. He wanted to help but wasn't sure how. Then it
suddenly hit him - he could cover the entrance of the cave with a spider
The spider quickly proceeded to spin and spin a great beautiful web that
covered the whole entrance to the cave. He had just finished the web when
they heard voices approaching outside. Mary and Joseph held their breath.
The spider waited with great anticipation.
When the soldiers got to the cave, they looked at the giant spider web and
turned away because they said no one would have been able to enter the cave
without having broken through the web. The soldiers moved on, and baby Jesus
One of the reasons I like to hear new Christmas legends is because they
cause me to pause and to think.
I know the Christmas story inside and out, but does that lead me to take it
for granted? Do I sometimes
forget about the real meaning?
Do I get so wrapped up in all the extra worship services and exhausted from
all the extra activities that my attitude goes south (I truly hope not,
but...)? When I read and hear
new legends about this very familiar story, I am grateful for the
opportunity to pause and to reflect and to remember the real reason we
celebrate this holy day.
Welcome to the new church year.
It is my prayer that life will return to some semblance of normalcy for you.
May your Christmas be filled with stories and celebrations and
remembrances about the meaning of the Christmas season.
Meet you at the manger!
+ Pr. Paul +
p.s. Did you know?
In keeping with the legend theme - Legend has it that Martin Luther began
the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. One crisp
Christmas Eve, about the year 1500, he was walking through snow-covered
woods and was struck by the beauty of a group of small evergreens. Their
branches, dusted with snow, shimmered in the moonlight. When he got home, he
set up a little fir tree indoors so he could share this story with his
children. He decorated it with candles, which he lighted in honor of
p.s.s. – Did you know that Luther said. . . . ???
'What man, if he were God, would humble himself to lie in the feedbox of a
donkey or to hang upon a cross?'