Weekly Reflection and News: December 26, 2019

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
-John 1:1-18

Currently, the rest of the Star Wars stories are quite popular. Some of them carry the story into the future after the first great movie many years ago, and of course, some of them tell the backstory. Back stories are important because they put the story that we heard in a greater context. They tell us where it all came from. This is John’s approach to the Christmas story. John doesn’t mention angels and shepherds as Luck does. John doesn’t talk about wisemen from the east like Matthew. But neither of those stories really makes sense until you understand John. He gives us the background context.

It is a context that we live in now. It suggests that there are two interconnected, interpenetrating realms in which we live, one smaller and the other greater. The smaller one is made up of the social, economic, and political world we live in. We tell the stories of this realm in our history books, our checkbooks, and our social calendars. The greater realm tells us why our smaller realm is structured as it is, and it is the only realm from which we can answer the moral questions about the smaller realm. That greater realm, as John notes, begins in the Great Source, God. Jesus, the incarnate son of God, brings those two realms together. The first thing said is that the smaller realm depends on the larger one. We cannot ignore it. And now that we are aware of it, the way we live in the smaller one can never quite be the same, just as our appreciation of the character of Luke Skywalker cannot be the same after we have seen the prequel.

No wonder theologians called this section the prologue of the Gospel of John. It’s really the pro— or, first logos or word about God in Jesus Christ—and therefore us. This is our backstory, and by it we know who we are and where we are going. Consider this as you think about New Year’s Resolutions and see what difference it makes.

The Rev. Paul Moore
Priest at St. Paul’s (email)


Updated Saint Paul’s Directory for 2019!
Hot off the press! Pick up a copy of the update from the counter in the Narthex.

Emergency Preparedness
St. Paul’s Emergency Preparedness Team has some information on what you can do and who you can call in the event of a power outage at your home. Volunteers are willing to drive and pick up anyone who would otherwise be able to due to poor conditions or night driving. Contact Sandy McDougall (alecsandym@gmail.com or 360-630-9405) for more information.

Call first! All the volunteers will pick you up as needed.
Alec & Sandy McDougall: (360) 424-6510 or (360) 630-9405 at 16387 Calhoun Rd. – Beds, 2 Queen & 2 – 4” pads.
Andy & Bonnie Schuh: (949) 735-9895 or (949) 735-6289 at 405 S. 9th street – Beds 1 T & 1 D.
Margie Lauer: (425 )248-9336 – 23840 Nookachamp Hills Dr. – Bed 1 Q.
Barbara Cheyney: (360) 391-3899 – 2521 Stonebridge Way – Beds 2 T.
You may call the McDougalls 24/7.

Safe Food without Electricity:
A full refrigerator will maintain safe temperatures for up to 6 hours. A full freezer will maintain safe temperatures for 2 days, and a half-full one for 1 day. Frozen foods that are still somewhat frozen are still safe. If in doubt, throw it out. The most potentially hazardous foods are meat, dairy products, eggs, soft cheeses, cooked, beans, potatoes, pasta, custards, and puddings. Some food may not be hazardous but the quality may be affected; salad dressings, mayonnaise, produce, hard cheeses, etc. Foods that are safe: ketchup, mustard, relishes, jams, peanut butter, barbecue sauces, bottled beverages, etc.

Gimme Shelter – A Tasty, Musical, Friend & Fund Raiser
January 4, 2020 • 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM at Lincoln Theater, 712 S 1st St, Mt Vernon, WA. Come mingle and enjoy a night of musical fun, tasty treats & local art. To support our neighbors on our southern border*.
*Proceeds To Benefit: Madre Assunta Shelter for Women and Children & Al Otro Lado Legal Services in Tijuana Mexico.

Holy Day Schedule
First Sunday after Christmas Bilingual Service: Christmas Lessons and Carols, This Sunday, December 29 – 9:30 a.m.

Choir practice for the month of January 2020 is on the 9th and 23rd at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Parish Annual Meeting Reports
Our Parish Annual Meeting will be held Sunday, January 19, 2020 following the 9:30 a.m. worship service. Please plan to join us for this opportunity to celebrate and reflect on what we have done and to pray our way forward together. Your reports are due by January 10, 2020 via email to stpaulmv@comcast.net. Thank you for all you do!

Serving This Sunday: December 29, 2019
8:00 a.m. Morning Prayer
Officiant: Darcy Wells

9:30 a.m. 1st Sunday after Christmas Bilingual Service
Presider: The Reverend Paul Moore
Music Director: Pam Pryor
E.M.: Dan Niven, Baudelina Paz
E.V.: Mary Ann Taylor
Greeters: Paul & Judy Thompson, Rosa Paz
*Coffee Hour: Potluck, Jen McCabe, Sandy McDougal, & Baudelina Paz
Counters: Susan Cooper, ____________________
Sound: Ben Worrell

E.M. is Eucharistic Minister.
E.V. is Eucharistic Visitor.
* Sign-up sheet is in the Parish Hall.