445 S. Mary Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94086 | 408.736.3120 | Questions? email becky@crosswalkchurch.com

COVID UPDATES AND A GREEN CHRISTMAS!

Dear Crosswalkers,
 
Midweek greetings to you all!
 
We have made the difficult decision that for the rest of December we will offer ONLINE services only. Our heart is to meet together, and we are still free to do so. But here’s a lesson: Just because we are free to do something doesn’t mean that is the best thing to do. We prayerfully want to prioritize the health of our congregation during this peak season of the pandemic.
 
There is one exception. We are planning to host two LIVE OUTDOOR Candlelight Christmas Eve services. This is a beautiful and cherished tradition at Crosswalk. Will it be cold? Yes, so dress warmly, and bring blankets. We will practice social distancing and wear masks. Each service will be at most only 40-45 minutes long. We will provide Christmas music, a devotion from Luke 2:8-12 called, God’s Reason for this Season, candles, hot cocoa and hot cider, and our prayers! Times will be announced next week, and you can register for these services on our website beginning December 10. For those who cannot make it, we will provide an online Candlelight Christmas Eve service. However, you will have to provide your own candles and hot drinks!
 
PLEASE, we desperately want to stay connected with you, even as we revert for a little while, to online services. Please go to our website and complete the ONLINE CONNECTION CARD so we can continue to pray for you.
 
THIS SUNDAY we will close our COMMUNITY COUNTS series. The text will shift from James to Paul as we examine a powerful passage laden with insights and lessons. Romans 16:1-16 is the passage we will study, and the message is entitled, The Community we Cherish. We will also celebrate the Lord's Supper together.

David Green is a Crosswalker who has been at Crosswalk longer than I have! He has been a faithful, active member for the past 22 plus years. Recently, he shared some of his thoughts regarding those who celebrate Christmas loudly and with great merriment, and those who celebrate more quietly with a deep and reflective joy. He gave me permission to share this with you:
 
I've heard a lot about "Mary"s and "Martha"s, from the Gospel story where Martha was annoyed that Mary wasn't doing "her share" of the housework when Jesus came to visit.
 
This may be a different comparison: the "Mary"s and the shepherds. In Luke 2, the shepherds are guided to the manger by hosts of angels. We hear that they "made known the statement that had been told to them about this child [so that] all who heard it were astonished" and they "returned [to their flocks], glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen."
 
But not Mary. You have to wonder if Mary wasn't overwhelmed by it all. It was her first child. She was out of town and had to give birth outside of even the comforts of an inn room. She may have been nervous still about what Joseph thought about this all; sure, he'd stuck with her so far, but now, the child was here. Was he looking at Jesus and trying to think who the baby actually resembled?
 
The shepherds told everyone about what was going on and carried on in noisy celebration. Mary, however, "treasured up all these words, pondering them in her heart." The shepherds celebrated loudly. Mary kept things close to her heart. I would venture to say that neither one was the wrong way to celebrate. The shepherds probably wondered why Mary wasn't as excited and joyous as they were. Mary probably wondered why the shepherds didn't just keep things quiet; the baby needed sleep and this was a huge moment--how would this miracle child turn out? What was she expected to do?

I think, biblically speaking, both approaches are valid. If you are overtaken by the joy of the season and need to spread it far and wide, so much the better. If the season is private and personal, and you feel better to hold it in your heart and ponder it, as Mary did, that is no more wrong. "The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord... while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God." (Rom. 14:6)
 
Thank you, David, for these thoughtful words!
 
Many blessings

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