Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bethany Bullet - December 20, 2011

All of us have heard the expression, most of us have felt the emotions that undergird it, and many of us have shared the message that we need to: “Keep Christ in Christmas.” There is another message I’d like to share, though perhaps you’ve never felt the emotion and probably not heard the expression: “Putting the mass back in Christmas.”

The term, mass is a middle ages reference to both the worship service and the Lord’s Supper. Eventually the term came to be synonymous for Holy Communion. The Roman church eventually co-opted the theology of communion to be as much Law as Gospel in viewing the supper as sacrifice rather than sacrament. That being said, the church of the Reformation never abolished the term and in fact simply sought to restore its true Biblical meaning. However, over time the term mass simply fell out of use among us. While I am not suggesting that we should restore the term, there is no denying we ought to keep the “mass” in Christmas. By that I simply mean we have an opportunity at the table to draw as near to the stable as a person who is living 2000 years after and 7,500 miles away from Bethlehem possibly can.

Christmas, after all, is of course, the celebration that God has come to us in the flesh to save us from our sin and make us a home in heaven. One of the most tangible and physical ways we today experience that gift is at the Lord’s Table. Where once again, God comes to us in the body and blood of Jesus to save us and grant us the promise of heaven.

So even as we remind our community that this season is really about the birth of Jesus and hence we ought to keep Christ in Christmas; it is also good, right and salutary that this community of faith remind itself that one of the most profound ways to experience the reality of Christmas is to receive the gift that is wrapped “in, with, and under” the bread and wine. And so, we also ought to keep the “mass” in Christmas.

Christmas “mass” Holy Communion, Lord’s Supper, Eucharist will be the center piece of our Christmas Day Worship Service on Sunday December 25th at 10:00AM. This will be the ONLY service on Christmas Sunday at Bethany.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter