Simple Gifts; Amazing Grace
Advent is almost here, and it is going to sparkle and shine this year! Last night, as the elders and deacons left their meetings, we could not help but notice the new Christmas tree, given to West Raleigh for use in the Sanctuary. Its light towered and twinkled from the front of the otherwise dark room. Then we walked into the night through the courtyard that glowed with the new up-lighting. Earlier in the night Eva Jones described the Worship Committee’s plans to add lights to the courtyard, stringing them up the poles on the stage and around the greenery already looped on the railing in the front. The lights in the Student Center will hopefully be working by the weekend, and the tree that was in the Sanctuary last year now twinkles in the Student Center. This Advent West Raleigh will shine lots of light from the corner of Vanderbilt, Horne and Hillsborough Street!
But, friends, this is about more than aesthetics.
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world!” Then he went on to tell his disciples to shine light into the world so that others might see the glory of the Lord reflected in how they live out their lives. Sunday evening West Raleigh has invited Davie Street to join us for Christmas Dinner, Simple Gifts & Caroling in the Courtyard. It is our hope and prayer that with each opportunity to worship and eat together, generations of racial segregation will yield to a common future. After dinner and Simple Gifts, we will go outside to sing Christmas carols in the courtyard, and for those yearning for more, we will carol Hillsborough Street and maybe even walk over to Campus. The grace that is shared between these two congregations is not one given to us alone, it is to be shared with those outside our doors. Davie Street has also invited West Raleigh to participate in their Tuesday Prayer Service, and members of Davie Street will likely join West Raleigh for worship on Christmas Eve. Shared meal and shared music, a few extra lights at Christmas – it may all seem like simple gifts, but I imagine it holds the possibility of amazing grace.