When did Christmas become something we could just buy or sell? When did it become the perfect present tied up with lovely bows? God is WITH us. Emmanuel. What would it look like to stop, pause, and be WITH Christ? CHRISTmas. What would it look like to stop hustling and bustling and simply be with God? I think we should try it out.
I absolutely love everything about Christmas. Fresh baked cookies wafting through the house, twinkling lights, creamy hot chocolate, the smell of pine surrounding Christmas trees, singing along to “O Holy Night,” cozy blankets, families laughing… It’s a beautiful time of year. Something I certainly do not like about this time of year is when people approach it with dread, feeling stressed about finding the perfect present, or hosting the perfect party, or are so busy rushing around they simply miss the point. Jesus. The incarnation. The God of the universe humbled himself to become a baby, to become like US. If this ever becomes “normal” to us, I think we need to step back and breathe in this truth, this mystery.
Instead of getting swept up in the hustle and bustle of a new season, to-do lists, things to do and places to go, let’s stop. Refocus. And choose joy.
Let’s come together and remember the whole point behind nativity scenes and candy canes and chestnuts roasting over the open fire…the purpose is to celebrate the incarnation. The Gospel of John begins by saying, “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus made his dwelling among US. Our Holy Creator chose to come down to early, in a small town, in a humble dwelling place, so he could live among his people, so they could experience his love. This is the good news that gives us great JOY, great joy for all people (Luke 2:10). Let’s join in with the angels and sing, praise God, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14).
11.19.14 join us for an M4 event at Montecito Covenant Church at 7pm followed by refreshments.
Join us THIS Sunday 11.23.14 for Thanksgiving Dinner! Join us at 5, followed by dinner at 6. If you happen to know you’re bringing lots of friends, especially Westmont people, please contact Mycah so we make sure to have enough food & rides :) If you’re interested in helping in the kitchen with prep or clean up, contact us!
Reminder: 11.30.14 join us at 9am or 10:30 because there will be NO tapestry.
Join us each week at 5pm for worship, followed by a free dinner! Tonight is ITALIAN food! Join us fireside as we wrap up our series “Called into Creation.”
Musicians, aspiring musicians and people who just love music…join us Sunday the 9th 4:30-5pm for a “Jam Sesh” with our worship leader Adam Phillips! Bring your instrument or voice and meet on the patio. Anyone is welcome…invite your friends!
Transportation provided at 4:15 AND 4:45 leaving from the DC lot this week for Westmont, because we love you. The Book Fair (benefiting the Early School) is next week 11.9, so come ready to browse some of our favorite reads, and some cash if you want to take some home :)
NO Tapestry November 30, December 21, 28 or January 4. Join us those weeks at 9am or 10:30.
Blessings & Love!
Mycah & the Tapestry Team
Musicians, aspiring musicians, and people who just love music…join us THIS Sunday the 19th 4:30-5pm for a “Jam Sesh” with our worship leader Adam Phillips! Bring your instrument or voice and meet on the patio! Anyone is welcome…invite your friends!
Transportation provided at 4:15 AND 4:45 leaving from the DC lot this week for Westmont.
Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard // This work by modern day theological giant Willard covers spiritual transformation, putting on the character of Christ, restoring the soul & living as children of the light. It took me over a year to read because each page, each chapter is so deep and dense, but I highly recommend it for anyone willing to dive in.
Rich, Thirsty & Hungry by Jamie Lisea // This storyteller depicts Jesus and Biblical parables in a modern day setting in a way that moved me to tears. Only three chapters long, I couldn’t put it down in the midst of each beautifully told story that showed me Jesus in a new and very real light. I highly recommend this book to any reader of any faith background.
Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch // Despite the lame title and embarrassing cover, my mom assured this was worth the read, and yes, the content is real and bold. The story of an ordinary mom who said “yes” to God, and fully realizes the power of one. She boldly calls the reader to step out in faith and say yes to God.
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott // Raw & real memoir of a woman who understands unconditional grace & love, and has truly experienced the church as a family. She weaves the stories of her life in a poetic and real way, drawing into her story of redemption, imperfection and forgiveness.
The Heart of Racial Justice: How Soul Change Leads to Social Change by Brenda Salter-McNeil & Rich Richardson // A bold call to action, commissioning this generation to step into reconciliation and justice. The authors explain how stepping into a life of worship can build bridges and reveal to us who God created us to be. Racial justice is a very real issue today in this country and around the world and should not be overlooked, so take a read. Also Brenda Salter McNeil is one of my all time favorite preachers…google her! :)
One Way Love by Tullian Tchividjian // Over and over again Tchividjian tells us of God’s grace and love that is overflowing and unending. Grace is wild and unsettling and freeing and undeserved, and for all of us sinners. You’ll leave this book that the message of Grace ingrained in your heart.
How to Read Exodus by Tremper Longman III // Exodus is a long, eventful and sometimes confusing book in the Old Testament. This book does exactly what it claims to do, so don’t expect a commentary. Well annotated, filled with references and discussion questions, this book is best suited for academic & theologically minded readers.
Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton // In the past I have read a number of books similar to this, such as “When Helping Hurts” (highly recommend) which have been more focused on international missions and outreach. Lupton touched on both internationally and local service which I really appreciated. He speaks of empowerment and partnership, and avoiding dependence and quick fixes. One of the final chapters is all about “the oath for compassionate service” including empowerment, listening, and doing no harm (along with others), which I think is an excellent approach for lovingly serving others, without creating dependability. Although not particularly well written or engaging, it’s worth the read for the sake of solid content.
See you Sunday at 5!