Things are about to get exciting here in Amherst.
Tonight is our town light-up. A special opportunity to come together as a community and welcome in the holiday season. The town takes on a very magic quality. Neighbours join with neighbours in the singing of familiar carols, and the eyes of both young and old light-up along with our decorations.
Tomorrow we welcome Good Old Saint Nick as we celebrate with our Santa Claus Parade. Many different people and organizations do a lot of work behind the scenes in order to present a successful parade. There are float builders, and musicians, and costumed revellers all working hard to ensure it’s success.
Over the next five weeks there will be lots of Craft Sales and Christmas Teas, Holiday Bazaars and Bake Sales. Shoppers will take to the streets and the stores will be filled with people trying to find the perfect gift.
Saturday, Dec. 2 will see the return of First Baptist’s popular, Deck The Halls Christmas House Tour. Hundreds will go house to house like the Carollers of long ago. It is one of my favourite events. Such a positive energy accompanies the house tour.
Churches will be busy with concerts. Offices will be busy with parties. Families will be busy with reunions.
Churches will also be busy. And it will involve a lot of the above: singing, concerts, cantatas, shopping, baking, crafts, and decorating. But all of these things are just trimmings for the main event.
For us, it’s all about Jesus. He is the main event.
And just like every other birthday - there will be things that help facilitate the celebration. Balloons and cake and cards and streamers. They help accentuate the party. But a birthday would be no fun at all if the Birthday Boy didn’t show-up. The same holds true for Christmas.
We are blessed to live in a town that takes advantage of every opportunity to celebrate. It keeps us happy, excited, and proud of the community in which we live. My parents often say, “Nobody can do it up like Amherst can.” This little town has a lot going for it. There are lots of events planned and I hope you do your best to be in the centre of it all.
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you will be excited about the Bethlehem birth of hope and peace and joy. That you will make room, give thought, and spend time meditating on just what Jesus means to you.