Our Saviour Parish News, December, 2023


3301 The Alameda
Baltimore, MD 21218
December, 2023


Christmas Eve – The Holy Night Communion, 7:30 P.M.
Christmas Day – Divine Service, 10:00 A.M.
First Sunday after Christmas Day – Divine Service, 11:00 A.M.
New Year’s Day: The Circumcision and Name of Jesus –
Divine Service, 10:00 A.M.
Eve Of The Epiphany Of Our Lord, Friday, January 5th
Divine Service, 7:30 P.M.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The beginning of this month of December brings with it the beginning of the season of Advent in which we make ready for the annual celebration of our Savior’s birth.  I often think that the best image for the Advent season is that of waiting in the darkness for the coming of the Light. As another candle of the Advent wreath is lighted on each of the Sundays in Advent, the increasing light of the candles tells us that we are drawing ever closer to the coming of Him who is Himself the Light in all our darkness both through His coming in lowliness at Bethlehem and through His coming in glory at the Last Day. The Epistle which from ancient times has been read at the Holy Night Communion points both to His coming in Bethlehem and to His final coming in glory. Saint Paul writes: “The grace of God has appeared” and then he speaks of how we Christians are “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus” (Titus 2:11, 13). As Christians we live in joyful hope between these two comings of our Savior, our hope meanwhile sustained by His coming to us in the Holy Sacrament of His Body and Blood. Christ came, Christ comes, Christ will come again! With Christ’s coming again in glory faith will give way to sight and hope will give way to fulfillment. In the words of a familiar Christmas carol:

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heavens and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace their king,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.

Every few years Christmas Eve falls on the Fourth Sunday in Advent as it does this year. This means that the Sunday morning service is an Advent – not a Christmas – service. Our Christmas celebration begins with the Holy Night Communion at 7:30 P.M. and continues with Divine Service at ten o’clock on the morning of Christmas Day. Note that the New Year’s Day Divine Service also begins at ten o’clock. On the eighth day after His birth the infant Savior was circumcised and given the name Jesus (Saint Luke 2:21). And so on January 1st we not only celebrate the New Year but also the circumcision and Name of Jesus.

December 3rd is the deadline for contributions for the Aldi Gift Certificates for needy families connected with the Waverly School. Be sure to mark your check “Holiday Gift Certificates.” In giving to others we express our thankfulness for God’s generosity to us in His gift of His Son to be our Savior.

The church will be decorated for Christmas following the Divine Service on December 17th, the Third Sunday in Advent, which is also the deadline for ordering poinsettias. Wayne and Jean West are in charge of ordering the poinsettias: (410)236-6392, (410)236-8092. Each plant costs $11.00.

Our dear sister in Christ, Queenie Hardaway, fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, November 9th. Her funeral service was held here at church on the following Thursday. May the Light perpetual ever shine upon here and may the risen Lord comfort all who mourn with the sure and certain hope of the resurrection.

A memorial plaque for the new organ console has now been affixed to our organ. It reads:

Console given to the Glory of God
and in memory of Joseph Silver
a devoted servant of God and His Church
October 22 the Year of Our Lord 2023

Do remember to bring food items for the GEDCO Food Pantry and personal items for the Helping Up Mission. The need remains great and each of us can and should make a contribution as we are able.

We continue to remember in prayer Bridget Bauman, James Bauman, Louis Bell, Dana Carmichael, Timothy Doswell, Quilla Downs, Bunny Duckett, Steve and Joyce Eaves, Albert Ford, Frank Ford, Iris Ford, Yolanda Ford, Sean Fortune, Helen Gray, Gloria Jones, Althea Masterson, Chris Mokris, Marian Rollins, Elaine Schwab, Julia Silver, Robert Siperek, Jr., Lawrence Smallwood, George Volkman, Dennis Watson, Gary Watson; Marvalisa, Sierra, Jonathan and Steven Gibson.

Helen Gray is now at the Keswick Multi-Care Center, 700 W. 40th Street, Baltimore, MD 21211. Yoland Ford remains at Future Care, 1046 North Point Road, Baltimore, MD 21224; Louis Bell at Autumn Lake Healthcare, 7 Sudbrook Road, Pikesville, MD 21208.

Please do not hesitate to email me (charlesmcclean42@gmail.com) or call me (410-554-9994) if there is anything on your mind that you would like to talk about or if you wish me to visit you or bring you the Sacrament. If you need a ride to church, I will see to it that that need is met.

There is a prayer for the Advent season, written by John Goter (1650-1704), which wonderfully expresses the spirit of this season:

We ask Thy grace, O God, that we may make a due use of this holy time for preparing our souls to receive Christ our Lord coming into the world at the approaching solemnity of Christmas. Grant that we may be watchful at this time above all others, in avoiding everything that can be injurious to our neighbor, whether in afflicting him, or giving him scandal, or drawing him into sin or casting any blemish on his reputation; but in all things, O God, may we follow the spirit of charity, being forward in bringing comfort and relief to all, as far as their circumstances shall require, and ours permit. Grant, O Lord, that thus we may prepare to meet our Redeemer.

It goes without saying that in these difficult days Christians will turn in prayer to the Lord “who makes wars to cease to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 46:9).

God bless us all in these Advent days.

Affectionately in our Lord,

Pastor McClean