Sunday December 23 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Hark the Glad Sound! (Verse 4) “Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace, your welcome shall proclaim,
and heav’n’s eternal arches ring with your beloved name.”

You don’t see many “welcome” mats anymore at people’s front doors. Instead, it’s common nowadays for there to be a video camera pointed at you in greeting, and possibly a PA system used
to communicate with you before you are granted access and finally welcomed. As Christians,
throughout time we’ve known the welcome of our shared identity as followers of God’s son,
Jesus. The main symbol of our faith, the cross, has acted as a symbol of welcome on church steeples and buildings for centuries for those looking for sanctuary. I’ve always had mixed feelings about church buildings having controlled-access doors with cameras perched above. Of course, it’s been deemed necessary as a security measure for our staff and the building contents.
In spite of this, as Christians, we are called to welcome people into our congregation, our family
of faith. We don’t need a building for that. All we need is a good Christian greeting in that beloved
name of Jesus.

Prince of Peace, remind us about what it means to welcome all in your name. Move us to be your church outside our walls, too, with welcoming words and actions. Amen

Advent Photo Challenge:  Take a picture each day during Advent and share on your social media platform of choice with #stpauladvent
Today’s picture inspiration: Peace