Spread the Word: A Birth Announcement
By Jennifer Ogelby
O Lord Jesus, the light of all who love you. Help us get ready for your coming by preparing room for you in our hearts. Let no selfishness darken our homes, let no ill feelings separate us. Draw us closer together by showing us the way to love aright. Amen (Smith family Advent prayer, source unknown)
Advent is my favorite season of the church year. It is hard to miss the symbolism of darkness and light that we experience during Advent. The days grow shorter and the light of Jesus grows brighter as we anticipate God’s birth into the world.
I am like a kid at Christmas as I eagerly await the birth of this precious child.
This year I am anticipating the birth of our second grandson. He is due anytime and may have been born by the time you read this article! I am like a kid at Christmas as I eagerly await the birth of this precious child. I can’t wait! I am scurrying around buying gifts for him and his older brother. I know that it will be exciting for our family, but do I really know what it will be like? I know that I will be sharing the good news with everyone I meet. I will eagerly tell friends the statistics: how long was the labor, how much did he weigh, etc. I will probably have some pictures to share. People will have no problem seeing clearly how much I love this child, this tiny baby born into our family
How to compare the birth of this precious grandson with the birth of Jesus in the manger so long ago? My grandson will be born in a hospital with all the care that the medical world brings today. He will ride home safely secure in a baby seat that has been attached to the car seat under the watchful eye of safety experts. He will have a warm comfortable bed at his house with his parents, his big brother, and doting grandparents nearby. In other words he will be surrounded by love. Although in very difference circumstances, Jesus also was surrounded by love. Moreover, Jesus is love – the very embodiment of God’s love for us!
Am I ready to take that next step of sharing the news of Jesus’ birth?
At the beginning of Advent this year I promised myself that I would try to smile at everyone I met and, if appropriate, have a short conversation as we all dash about in this crazy world of ours. As I try to connect with the people I meet on the street, the grocery store, church and work I can feel Jesus being born in my heart once again. Am I ready to take that next step of sharing the news of Jesus’ birth? Then I can truly hear the kids in the Christmas Pageant singing “Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere; go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born!”
A member of St. James Church in Essex Junction, Jennifer Ogelby is manager of the Hopkins Bookshop at Trinity Church, Shelburne, and a team member of Green Mountain Witness, the evangelism initiative of the Diocese of Vermont.