3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
CHRISTMAS AT OUR SAVIOUR
CHRISTMAS EVE—FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 PM
CHRISTMAS DAY—FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 11:00 AM
NEW YEAR’S DAY—DIVINE SERVICE, 11:00 AM
EPIPHANY (FRIDAY, JANUARY 6)
FESTIVAL DIVINE SERVICE, 7:30 PM
Sunday School and Bible Class will not meet on December 25 or January 1.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
How quickly this year has gone by! Soon we will enter the year of our Lord 2023. All time is divided into the time before Christ, B.C., and the time since the coming of Christ, A.D., Anno Domini meaning “in the year of our Lord.” And it is at Christmas that we celebrate the coming of God into time as the Child of blessed Mary. This is the great mystery of the incarnation, of God in the flesh that is yours and mine. The word “incarnation” consists of two Latin words: “in” meaning in, and “caro” meaning flesh. At the Divine Service on Christmas Day we will hear the wonderful prologue of Saint John’s Gospel in which he writes: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” In the translation of The New English Bible we read: “When all things began, the Word already was…” That is in reality more of a paraphrase than an exact translation, but I think that it does express the truth in a compelling way. And the humanity God’s eternal Son and Word took from His virgin mother He has never put aside. Through all eternity He remains not only true and eternal God but also our truly human Brother who knows all our weakness yet loves us still. The incarnation is the mystery long hidden but now revealed, it is the mystery of love beyond all knowing: that the Creator of the universe, out of love for you and for me and for the whole world, chose to come into the world He had made as a tiny infant. No wonder it was long the custom to kneel in adoration when in the Creed we confess our faith that God’s eternal Son “was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man”!
It goes without saying that every Christian will come to Divine Service on the festival of the nativity of our Lord. As the humble shepherds found Him wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, we find Him in the lowly bread and cup of the Holy Sacrament: “How silently, how silently the wondrous Gift is given!” On Christmas Eve Divine Service begins at 7:30 PM. And because Christmas Day falls on Sunday this year, Christmas Day Divine Service begins at 11:00 AM—not 10. The Sunday morning Bible Class will not meet on Christmas Day nor on New Year’s Day.
A combined donation of $29,000 in memory of Joseph Silver has been received from the families of Dennis and Christine Watson, Don and Lisa Watson, and Gary and Catherine Watson. These monies will be placed in the Historical Preservation Fund. Many thanks to these families for sharing their bounty with Our Saviour!
On Sunday, December 4, Ben Orris and Richard Brown will be cooking breakfast for anyone who wishes to stay after Divine Service. If you have been to one of these breakfasts, you know that Richard and Ben are good cooks. Come and join us!
Following Divine Service on Sunday, December 11 there will be a reception to thank Judy Volkman for over sixty years of service at Our Saviour. She has served as president of the congregation and Sunday School director and in a multitude of jobs that needed to be done. I must say that she has been a tremendous help to me from the time I arrived here at this church. Our congregation owes her a great debt of gratitude.
The church will be decorated for Christmas following Divine Service on December 18, the last Sunday in Advent. December 18 is also the deadline for ordering poinsettias. Be sure to include the names of those you wish to remember or honor with your check earmarked “poinsettias.” Wayne and Jean West are in charge of ordering the poinsettias this year ((410) 236–6392, (410) 236–8092).
Remember that we are giving ALDI gift certificates to needy families connected with the Waverly School. Be sure to mark your checks “Gift Certificates.” And do remember the ongoing need of the GEDCO food pantry and the Helping Up Mission. Boxes for contributions to these works of mercy can be found inside the door from the small parking lot north of the church.
Offering envelopes for 2023 are available for pick up in the back of the church. Please do not use them until January since they have been renumbered.
Let us continue to pray for all those for whom our prayers are desired: James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Lucille Carmichael, Maggie Doswell, Quilla Downs, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Helen Gray, Queenie Hardaway, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Mary Mokris, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek, Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson. Maggie Doswell is making progress in her recovery at Cadia Healthcare, 4922 LaSalle Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782. Yolanda Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224. Louis Bell remains at Autumn Lake HealthCare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208. Queenie Hardaway remains at Augsburg Village, 6825 Campfield Road, Baltimore, MD 21207.
Please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (410) 554–9994 if you need a ride to church or if you want me to visit or bring you the Sacrament. For those who are unable to attend church, we continue to livestream our services Our Saviour Baltimore Facebook.
In one of the Church’s most ancient prayers for the Christmas season we speak of how God “wonderfully created and even more wonderfully restored the dignity of human nature,” but both in our own land and throughout the world we daily see so much that utterly contradicts the dignity of human nature. As Christians, it is our duty to pray for all who suffer such degradation and to do what we are able to do to resist it as God gives wisdom and strength. Our Saviour lay in the manger for every human being, and therefore every human being is precious in His sight. Let us then this Christmas come to the House of God to give thanks for the great mystery of the incarnation, and let us continue to pray fervently “for the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God, and for the unity of all.”
The Lord’s People are at the Lord’s own Service in the Lord’s House every Lord’s Day.